Easy way to deal with your career aspirations

Original author: Marc Effron
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It is easy to get lost in the process of building your career. In my experience, even the most successful global corporations in the development of future talents are in the states from bad to average. They often hide what you really need and cannot clearly determine the most effective development options.

The problem is that you are competing with all the people in your industry who want to work effectively. If you have more opportunities faster than theirs, you will work more efficiently today, get the opportunity to work more efficiently in the future, and this vicious circle will receive support. Human development matters. So how to mark the shortest and guaranteed path to success?

Grow faster

Research clearly shows how to grow most effectively: it is necessary to combine learning at work, social and formal learning in the proportion of 70-20-10 . This mantra, derived from research, says that approximately 70% of your professional growth will be due to your work experience, 20% of your interaction with other people, and 10% of formal training.

Growth needs to be thought of as a cyclical process - succeed, get feedback, and make work even better. Experience feeds this growth cycle, so you need to understand what experience means the most, and get just such an experience as fast as possible. First you need to clearly define the starting point and the desired goal on this path of development - these obvious things often do not include in the development plan.

Two steps for quick growth are:

  1. Determine your starting point and goal.
  2. Get experience and create a personal experience card.

Determine your starting point and goal

If you need to build a route using Yandex.Maps, your application will ask you two questions: the current location and the purpose of the trip. The more accurately you enter the coordinates, the more likely that you will reach where you need, by the fastest route. Your growth process should go the same way - with an explicit indication of the position in which you are today and your desired goal.

For many of us, the difficulty is that we misjudge our current position and our goal. We often believe that we are much farther than the real place, and we think that profits, when hundreds of kilometers remain to the target. A more accurate assessment can be obtained using the platform, which my colleague Jim Shengli calls "from / to". From / to, these are two brief statements - one of which describes your current position, and the other describes the next big (but not final) goal.

Examples of good statements from / to include:

  • From a single person contributing through technical knowledge and clearly following the directions of others, to a leader creating a clear strategy and delivering results with a small team.
  • From a business strategist who may seem dismissive towards people who are less efficient from the point of view of intelligence, to a manager who builds work on his site and inspires his employees through personal connections and demonstration of caring for people.

The directness of these statements may surprise you. The statements from / to are real examples taken from successful directors who have made incredible progress after articulating their needs. Both directors are now in the top positions of the companies - one heads a network of retail stores with a capitalization of $ 10 million, and the other is a company specializing in glasses.

In order to clearly formulate from / to, you need to set aside your ego and ask proxies from superiors and colleagues to take an honest look at your initial situation and goal. Explain to them the concept of / to, send them examples from this article, ask them to think about yours from / to. Ask them to give you the hard truth, because their honesty will allow you to grow faster in the future.

Use their input to create your final from / to. Which of their reviews seem the most direct and least of all you like? Is far enough “before” to make the task of achieving it meaningful? Whose opinion do you most trust? Having a clear description of / to, you can concentrate on accelerating your growth.

Create your own experience card.

Since the 70-20-10 proportion says that experience will best accelerate your development, you will need to understand what things will build your career, and which most influential ones will help narrow the gap between in and out. Periodically updating your personal experience card will help you navigate this path.

The personal experience card shows what kind of experience you want to gain in the next 2-5 years so that your career will grow. This is a practical plan that describes how you will make yourself a more effective person.

Two types of experience can accelerate your development: functional and managerial. Functional helps you succeed in one of the areas - marketing, supply chain, research and development. It allows you to prove your high competence. Managerial will help you prove that you are able to work and manage people in various difficult situations. You not only did an excellent job with marketing in one of the regions, but proved that you can manage a new team in a completely different situation and in another place.

When you master this complex experience, you prove to your company your versatility as a leader deserving a chance to fulfill larger and more important roles. You can create your own experience card after:

  • Talk to experts in your field. The best experts in the field can help you understand what experience will help you get into the first 10% and become an expert. Communicate with experts to understand what experience will help you to succeed functionally. These conversations will give you the initial material for creating a map.
  • Chat with experts in your company and outside. Communicate with the best people in general, and not just in your company. If you want to be a financial director, select the top five financial directors you admire or have a good reputation in your industry. If you, for example, want to achieve success in the field of early pharmaceutical research and development, the pattern of action will be the same. Find leaders in the industry's “best” lists based on articles from magazines, articles from speakers at relevant conferences, or as recommended by leaders in your company.
  • Ask for an interview. Write to each of the leaders, ask for informal communication, during which they could help you develop in their area.
  • Ask them for ideas. During the call, ask: “What is the key functional experience (not necessarily working experience) that you think will produce the best (manager, IT architect, financial director) in your area?” Or: “Describe what you expect see in the summary of the person who showed himself perfectly in _____ ". If you can't find quality information, ask them what was the most valuable experience in their career.

Create your card

Study your notes based on the interview, list the experience described by the people you interviewed. Not all that you have heard will be useful to you; some information will be superfluous or contradict each other. Your goal is to sort it out and find those multiple experience options that will speed up your career development as much as possible.

The experience should describe a meaningful business result: open a new production factory, lead a large team through a fundamental change in business, generate a report for the business division. This should be a significant building block of your functional or managerial capabilities; Your achievement of this experience should be understandable to other members of your field of work.

The functional experience required for an effective employee will be unique to your profession, and the managerial experience will be similar to the experience from other professions. Management experience cultivates common properties that are valuable to all managers, regardless of functionality. For simplicity, you can use these types of experience when creating a map:

  • Life cycle experience. Become a leader in various parts of the company or the evolution of the product: a sharp change in direction, a startup, a stable state, an emerging market or an established one.
  • Managerial experience. Pump a poor-quality team, become the head of a large team, manage a team in which you have influence, but not an official superior position, become a leader in an organization with a matrix hierarchy, become a leader in a very politicized situation.
  • Geographical experience. Get experience in a different geography of the home, in an area where not your native language is used.

Choose from four to seven functional experiences and three to four managerial experiences that you think will best affect you, and list them on your personal experience card. The map should be focused and realistic - it should be a list to which you will regularly refer, planning your growth and evaluating progress.

A personal experience card will become your guide to the constant growth of your effective self. Its creation will be one of the best investments of your time. View the contents of this card each time you change your job or company, at least every six months, to ensure that it remains relevant and useful.

Accelerating your own growth is not easy, but it is easier to do this when you have a clear idea of ​​your starting point, your goal and the fastest way between them, based on gaining experience.

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