I hope you are having a great Tuesday. I am still basking in the glow of great weekend spent in Annapolis, MD.
The weather was perfect, the seafood was amazing and it was an all round wonderful retreat and an excellent way to take a quick break.
Well, today is Tuesday, but instead of giving you my normal top career blog posts, I have decided to address what I believe is a critical component of career success.
You may already be familiar with career career discussions or performance appraisals (as they are typically known as), but what about the rest of the year?
When it comes to taking charge of your career and taking responsibility for your professional development, having frequent career conversations with your supervisor is hugely beneficial.
Some the benefits you can gain from having career conversations and effective communication with your boss include:
- Strengthening your professional relationship with your supervisor and to improve your overall communication with him/her.
- Having more touch points with your supervisor to update him/her on your ongoing work, project progression, recent achievements, and potential areas of concern.
- Keeping your supervisor aware of your short-term and long-term career goals, new skills and knowledge that can benefit your company.
- Helps make the performance appraisal process go smoothly as there are limited “surprises” to consider.
Now, you want to respectful of your supervisor’s time and schedule, so only set up meetings when really needed and necessary; another option is to have pre-scheduled meetings on the calendar to connect with him/her – either weekly, biweekly or monthly.
To properly prepare for your career conversations, make sure you are able to identify your career goals and development needs; create a general outline of the discussion from intro and dialogue to closing; consider the 3 key topics you want to address; and finally what outcomes you are seeking as a result of the conversation.
- Have an open mind and be prepared to talk about your value to the company, your interest in growing and the resources needed for the next level.
- Start the conversation with purpose and agenda; develop talking points if necessary and use them as a guide during the process.
- Avoid turning the career conversation into a complaint session about co-workers, work load, or unresolved, negative issues.
- Be comfortable with expressing your work requirements and how your existing job can be enriched.
- Take time to listen to your supervisor’s feedback without being defensive; and get clarity on improving your performance.
Keep an overall focus on the company’s objectives and determine how they best align with your personal career goals.
Have you ever initiated a career conversation with your supervisor? What did you discuss and why? More importantly was is successful for you and your supervisor?