Looking Forward

multiple businesspeople in front of cloudy background on a series of winding, confusing paths

Careers happen over time and through a series of moves.The work you’ve done in the Looking Inward and Looking Outward section helps to generate insight into the world of possibilities for those who want to move forward and toward their career goals. Some individuals want to move up or on while others are looking to grow in place or step down. We each have our own unique career journey based on our skills, passion and interests which moves us towards a very personal definition of career success. Use the following tools to help you define your career success and determine your goals.

Moving Up

What do you do if you are an engaged employee looking to advance? Collaborate with your manager to find stretch assignments, mentoring opportunities and chances to learn and apply new skills. Managers can choose to be a bridge and help ready this individual to take on new roles and responsibilities.

Explore your next steps, even if it means moving from one great department to another.

Growing in Place

This is the most common stage in a career. It’s where individuals can work with their manager to find ways to grow talents, explore interests and build capacity within the context of their current position.

This is an opportunity to reframe thinking about career development and grow job skills and knowledge and create experiences that align with organizational needs.

Moving Across

“I want to do something different.” Sometimes people want a change that allows them to gain new perspective, experience, knowledge and skills. Moving across provides individuals with an opportunity to gain a broader perspective of the university.

If employees choose to move across the university, managers should help them explore why and what they hope to gain and provide experiences like shadowing to help make an informed decision.

Moving Down

Sometimes you have to move down in order to move forward and towards your career goal. This can often be a very strategic move. Some individuals opt for a different appointment. Others want to move to less responsibility. And for some a change from a manager to an individual contributor role is the appropriate move. There are many reasons this type of move takes place and during this transaction, employees can continue to make valuable contributions and use the time to learn something new and build their network.

Moving On

There is such a thing as person-job fit and an organizational fit. Sometimes skills mesh better elsewhere.

Sometimes moving out of an organization is a chance to develop new relationships, create a fresh start, pursue opportunities that better match work values, interests and skills, semi-retire or retire.

Goal setting is about creating opportunities for yourself. Goals are useful to help you move from here to somewhere else you want to be; to help you grow. Instead of ending, think of your career as a path stretching out in front of you with branches – choices you will be making along the way.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to engage in a career discussion with your manager. Share the summary of your self-assessments and ask for feedback from your manager about your strengths and areas for development. Your manager should be able to enhance your understanding and awareness of the organization’s needs, university and unit priorities, program plans, and more.

Considering the information you have clarified and the awareness you have gained from your conversation(s) with your manager, think about your current position and the positions to which you aspire. With your manager, decide on the short-term (1 year) and medium-term (2-5 year) goals that are the best fit for you, your position, and the organization. You can also discuss your long-range (5+ years) career goals and how you can work towards those goals within your current job.

Using your career goals as guides, identify the skills and competencies that you need to develop. Together with your manager, identify growth and development opportunities you will engage in through experience, exposure and education. Brainstorm the resources (money, time, support relationships, etc.) and identify action steps that will be needed for success.

Pulling It All Together