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Managers and Career Conversations

12 May 2021

For most of us the key person we get to have career conversations with is our manager.  This typically happens during, or around, the time of our performance development conversation.

Unfortunately, there are some things that limit the scope of this career conversation.

1.     Your manager’s vision for your career is typically for your career within the organisation.

2.     They cannot help but bring the filter of their own career pathway to your career.  This is great if moving into their role is the only option you want to explore.

3.     Many managers are concerned about the level of career support they feel qualified, or have the time to offer.  

4.     Because they are the boss some managers need to appear like they have it all sorted.  This can lead them to talk in ‘shoulds’ – “You should do this…”

5.     On the flip side, others know they don’t have career sorted themselves, so fear treading down this conversational pathway for fear they will give you wrong advice.

6.     Many are also reluctance to step into being a mentor, or even being a sponsor, for your career because they fear it would be interpreted as playing favourites.

Most performance development programs have a mandatory career element to them.  Have the career conversation with your manager, but know it has limitations.  Supplement it with other conversations.  Talk about your career, and what your potential is, with a variety of diverse people from your network, then supplement this with your own research and reflection.   

And reach out to me  I have a wealth of career development programs.

As always, wishing you a flourishing career.


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