Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's my career, stupid!

Who remembers that snippy little political bumper-sticker "It's the economy, stupid!"? Well, I have a renewed version of that little quip for 2006 - "It's my career, stupid!"

Regular readers of my blog will know that I totally believe that every person's career, development and work-life balance is up to them. It is my view that no one else can manage your career like you can. You should ask for, and take all the developmental opportunities, career options you desire. If you don't claim what you want, than shame on you for not trying. But for those of us who do actively look for opportunities only to have them fall by the wayside of the boss's goals, shame on the boss!

This interesting article in Workforce Management is a pretty good wake-up call for those among us who have to lead and manage others. I still hold to my beliefs that you alone bear responsibility for managing your career, but the boss who fails to provide you with training, tools and opportunities is a problem too. And according to this study, it is clear that fewer of us are willing to tolerate having our careers used to grease the skids for the the boss' ambitions alone.

To the bosses among our ranks, the message is clear - your people are yours to win, or to lose. Either you help them win, or you better start getting your recruitment strategy ready, because you WILL lose them - and when word gets around about why these talented people are leaving, you better start packing your bags too because good companies wont allow poor managers to cost them talent for long.


Take a check of your team. Who has development needs that you can help with? Who would benefit by being put on, or in charge of that next project? Have you even had an "aspirations and desires" discussion with them? Start investing in your team today by asking these questions and revisit them frequently. Always put your team's needs in the equation when deciding what to do. If you follow this advice and act in their best interests, the worst thing that can happen is that they'll see that you care, and the best outcome is that they wont leave, will continue to grow and add real value every day.

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