Saturday, November 24, 2012

Career Development - The Employee's Responsibility

Most companies are very focused on assisting employees with growth and development.  As such, training is often provided that is both job specific, as well as,  related to general skills development.   However, many  employees believe that career development is all about what the company can do for them.   As President Kennedy said during his Inaugural Speech, "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For Your Country.   To change this adage to apply to business, Ask Not What Your Company Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For Your Company.   As such, employees must create personal value by developing job skills and or additional knowledge that can be used  to foster the company's growth and development. 

There are many employees that believe that job tenure should be the basis for promotion.   NOT.   While tenure may be a factor related to promotion, it is probably the least important.  Talent, experience and education are always the basis for promotion, particularly in a global business environment.   Without all three, what I call the package, employees will hit a glass ceiling.  Employees with just a high school education and little job experience are woefully ill prepared to work for a global company.  We need employees with higher education, significant experience and preferably multiple foreign languages to be really successful.

People are not born with global mindset.   It is created by natural curiosity, world travel, education and experience.   While vacations to the beach are relaxing, they don't build much knowledge of a country, or culture.   In addition to business travel, to the degree possible employees should use vacation travel to gain exposure to the world.  Learning should be a life long quest.   This Blogger CEO is amazed by how few employees take advantage of company paid tuition reimbursements, that are rather common, to further higher education.   This is particularly the case for those that have no university degree.   What a deal, when a company is willing to pay for some, or all of a university education. 

Career Development is ultimately the employee's responsibility.  Companies can only do so much to help someone become more valuable.   The employee must create an individual developmental plan and then work the plan.  Even though there is high unemployment in many countries, jobs go unfilled because of the talent gap.   Fill that gap and have a great job for life. 

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