Steps for a Valuable Career Development Meeting
No matter the stage of your career, you should never stop learning, developing and seeking feedback. One of the best ways to do that is to work directly with your manager, the person who works closely with you on a day to day basis. Whether or not your company has decided to implement development or ‘check in’ meetings with management, this is a practice that you could cultivate at least once per quarter to talk about your performance and career growth. Get the most out of these meetings by considering the following four steps.
1. Share your goals
Tell your manager what you’re working on and inspiring to work on to give them a deeper sense of your productivity and where you want to go. Share the results that you’re seeing so far, and update them on what your ultimate goal is. Is your goal to execute a big project beyond expectations or get promoted in the next 6 months? Sharing this information with your manager will give them a clear sense of what you want your path to be so that they can help you get there.
2. Describe your achievements so far
Once you’ve communicated your ultimate goal to your manager, describe to them where you are relative to that goal. This will help them to engage with you and take initiative to help you get there.
3. Ask for input and advice
The point of the meeting isn’t to show off, it’s to move forward, and to do so faster than you would on your own. Come into the meeting prepared with several questions that would direct your manager to give you advice and take on a mentorship role. The goal is to discuss other matters related to your career development, ask questions and get direction. This is a good time to ask what they consider to be your strengths and weaknesses. Ask if there are things you haven’t demonstrated yet that they’re looking for, and what you need to learn to do well.
4. Identify and commit to next steps
After the meeting is over, go back through your notes on the conversation and formulate your next steps. Also make sure to record your notes in a way that you can use them as a tool to inform your next meeting, to follow up on the items you discussed. Career development meetings truly can be valuable and productive when planned and executed correctly. You just have to take the steps to make them that way, so don’t underestimate their value.
What do you think?
As the saying goes, if you want to be in the top 5%, you have to do something different than the other 95%. Actively planning and engaging in career development meetings help high achievers move forward in their career sooner. What steps have you taken to ensure a successful meeting with your manager? Comment your views below and join the conversation.
This article was written by Megan Baker and Jelena Milutinovic on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Inc. and Forbes