A ‘HiPo’ and not progressing part 2: how to move forward

My last blog inspired a number of people to reach out and ask about managing their career in a more effective way, so here are a few tips on creating an effective, self directed development plan:

  • Assess the market: Reach to colleagues, contacts, experts in your field and attend industry specific conferences and events. Figure out what is valued now in your area and what kinds of skills and experiences will be valued going forward.
  • Gauge your personal experience: Review your career to date and figure out where you have touched experiences that are desirable- this could be in your current role or previous positions. Think about your extra-circulars’ and academic career to inform this assessment. This is a good time to reach to former colleagues and managers to get a 360 analysis of why they valued having you in their team.
  • Identify opportunities within: Look within your company for projects you can be staffed on to get partial or full exposure to the areas you’ve identified as value adds.
  • Create political allies: Indentify people within your organization who will use their political capital to help you develop in the way you want to.
  • Build champions: Both within your organization and outside of it. It is helpful to have mentors you can reach to who understand your context and can provide guidance on what you have done and the things you are thinking about doing next.
  • Be realistic: Career development is an iterative and sometime frustrating process, trying to build new experience will be difficult as you face internal and external barriers. Keep a record of your success to keep you on track as you move forward.

The millennial running buddy who inspired me to write the originally HIPO piece in the first place has now moved into action. I am currently coaching him in implementing some of these strategies in his new role. I’m interested to hear of your experiences as you go forward and hope that some of you will share your learning here at North of Neutral.