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How to Mentor Someone who doesn’t know what their career goals should be

David Dalen
How to Mentor Someone who doesn’t know what their career goals should be

“Career Goal” is a common word we hear in corporates often. Either you hear from management or supervisors. We ask our teams “Tell me about your career goals.” Most often we see quiet faces on this question by our team members. In these cases, how do you intend to give support and mentor.

Before offering solutions, we’d like to propose a radical diagnosis: The problem lives not in a lack of career opportunities, but rather in the very concept of a career. We are suffering from the career myth — most of them not even understand the real meaning or outcome of career goal or career growth.

Few consider career goal reflects the money you are getting, few consider the designation you hold, few may consider working in a other country and location. May be all of them right from their view, but how many of them understand how to reach there ?

Consider the etymology of the word “career.” It comes from the 16th-century word for “road.” The progress and actions taken by a person throughout a lifetime, especially those related to that person’s occupations. A career is often composed of the jobs held, titles earned and work accomplished over a long period of time, rather than just referring to one position.

Let’s move back to an individual who needs direction and feels stuck and confused about their career. If you can’t point them towards a reassuring career ladder, what can you do to support their growth and increase their impact on the company? Here are some of the steps we may take to help employees move beyond the career myth:

1.First create a clarity and meaning of Growth: Each individual have different definition for growth, most of the situations we create our career growth by comparing with someone we know in our friends & Family, we keep observing colleagues in corporates and create our goals. We should guide employees that it is fine and even preferable not to have a concrete career path in mind. Being overly attached to a specific path can turn into a career trap.

We may first make employee and Leads / managers get into conversations to understand what is meant a goal for an individual and ask them to give their views / ways to achieve that.

Few questions to ask:

a. What is meant for you a goal ? Monitory benefits, Designation, Good work, social service, or all of these ?

b. What is the timelines you are creating for your career growth ? 5yrs, 10yrs, 15yrs, and what after that ?

2.Get SWOT analysis: While we all understand and learnt this word called SWOT, very few actually pen-down and keep observant on each of your SWOT. Often I observed that its very difficult to write for yourself this and start observing regularly.

SWOT analysis will make you understand where you are good at and what career goal will allow you to reach with timelines. As each and everyone’s SWOT is different to each other and you will start playing to your strength’s rather than following others and create your goals.

Few questions to ask:

a. Do you understand your strengths & improvement areas ?

b. How do you create opportunities for your career, which are they ? what all come on your way as a hurdle ?

3.Focus on capabilities: We train our managers to help their direct reports develop required skills, not climb a ladder. Everyone have their own capabilities based on their ability to grasp, we need to make them understand their own strengths and capabilities to grow. These are skills that increase employability because they can be applied to a variety of roles and situations now and in the future (for example, Personality development, Managing oneness, assertiveness, ). To provide some direction, we also want managers to advertise the skills that are most wanted on the team & what makes their supervisors succeed. Show examples of the toppers which made them to outstand among others. If someone not capable of becoming a lead due to his / her personality, we should make them understand not to look for role require managing people etc.

Few questions to ask:

a. who are they look up to ? and what skills they like in them ?

b. why do you think that they become outstanding performers, what are their traits ? are they behavioural, hardworking, smart thinking, or anything else ?

c. What gaps do you have to fill next level ?

4.Create achievable goals: New generation of individuals look for quick perks, but may not be clear on what makes them to get these perks. Create a career goal along with them and define it clearly with short term assignment which makes a path for larger one. As we are working on individuals career path we should make sure that employee is clear in what goal they are taking for next 2-3 cycle of years. Based on the individuals capacity and capability we need to achieve first few short-term goals as achievable and make it tougher by the next cycles. Lot of times, mentee and mentor realises that goals taken is not possible and that creates dissatisfaction and he may get demoralise.

Few questions to ask:

a. What do you want to achieve in next 12 months ?

b. Do you knowhow will you achieved it?” break these goals into 3,6,12 months and make him achieve it and make them understand the process which makes them achieve

5.Make them be innovative, be flexible in their ideas: With the growing competition and unpredictability of business one need to be smart in understanding what technology comes next and work toward that. For example, Last 2 decades to become a function head you need to be grey-haired and a minimum of 20yrs required, experience matters, But you need to be innovative and flexible enough to take it to next level. Like Infosys, TCS Vs Flipkart, Paytm

Allow your team members to innovative and implement the ideas, they may fail but let them understand how to overcome risks and backups. Real competency comes out when you allow them be non-routine.

Few questions to ask:

a. How you would have done the same project if given a chance.

b. if given a chance to run this business what will you do ? How will you design this project if you are the owner for this ?

c. How will you handle your teams, if given a chance ?

d. what have you learned / over comings from previous projects implemented ?

Make them understand their likes: Each one of them has different goals and likings in life to achieve. But most of them keep changing, according to situations due to no clarity in their interests / likes. Make team members introspect what makes them interesting in career growth and persona growth.

Few questions to ask:

a. Is your goals based on your interests or your friends / colleagues goals ?

b. Do you really know what makes you happy ?

Its very important to make sure that we follow above basics before we make anyone start mentorship. Most of them not sure what makes them happy hence important to make them aware all of these.

Source - https://blogs.shenzyn.com/how-to-mentor-someone-who-doesnt-know-what-their-career-goals-should-be/

Read More Posts Like this @ https://blogs.shenzyn.com/

David Dalen
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