The beginning of the year gives us a great opportunity to take stock of where we are and where we want to be in the next 12 months. Moving beyond traditional New Year’s resolutions, as professionals we need to focus on what is important for us, our careers, and our businesses so that we can plan to take action.
Let’s meet Jill, Brad, and Annette.
Jill is the manager of the mortgage closing department. She is in charge of 12 employees whose functions have different levels of complexity. She already completed their performance reviews for 2016 and identified their development goals for 2017. Each one has an individual plan focused on some competencies that need to be strengthened and others that need to be acquired for the employee to become more effective in their current role. Some have even been identified as high potential employees, which means they will have even more growth opportunities. In addition, Jill has already scheduled a meeting with her own manager where she will discuss the plan that Jill designed for her own development.
Brad is an independent consultant who specializes in organizational cultural change. His business depends on his knowledge and expertise. He must remain current on the latest trends in cultural shifts so that he can be a valuable advisor to his clients. Brad built his brand by being present in different activities many of which, on the surface, do not seem to be development-oriented yet actually are. For instance, Brad hears about what local subsidiaries of international companies are doing by attending networking events where he interacts with clients and competitors. He stays informed about emerging key players reading specialized and general business publications either online or in print. Further, he asks lots of questions about subjects that catch his interest to discover hidden business opportunities.
Annette is an individual contributor at the marketing department of a major automobile distributor. Even though she is not interested in a management position, Annette has made it clear to her supervisor that she is interested in expanding her role in the company. Annette is thoroughly familiar with the business strategy beyond that of her specific department. She seeks cross-training opportunities, volunteers for special assignments, attends meetings of professional associations, networks internally and externally, and reads anything that crosses her desk or her mobile devices. Over the years, Annette has become an expert in targeted marketing and is often invited to speak at local events.
Jill, Brad, and Annette have in common that they place value in development for themselves and for their businesses.
Consider the following key benefits of owning the value of development for you: