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How to Talk to Your Boss About Your Career Path

June 28, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By cwainwright@hubspot.com (Corey Wainwright)

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A couple of my teammates recently launched a tool called The Next Five to help people navigate through those times in their career where they’re feeling kind of stuck. You know, when you’re just not sure what the next step is on your career path.

And while we may think about this stuff from time to time — and maybe even sheepishly practice holding those conversations in the car on the way to work — I don’t think we often verbalize our thoughts on where we want our career paths to go (presuming we actually know the answer to that question).

So I did a little research to see how often people are actually talking with their managers about the next steps on their career paths. It’s pretty hard to find any good data on it (if you know of any, please send my way). But I did find this: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average tenure for today’s worker is 4.4 years. If you focus on just younger employees, that number halves.

What’s more, 91% of workers born between 1977 and 1997 report going into new jobs with the intent of staying less than three years.

While it sure seems like a jumpy career path is normal, there’s more to be said about the importance of these career discussions. To help you get the conversation started, let’s take a closer look at why they matter and how you can get the most out of them.

Why Do Career Path Conversations Even Matter?

Some workplaces look at job-hopping as a phenomenon we just need to accept in this day and age. And they’re probably right … to an extent. I don’t think many industries should expect to return to a time when people stayed at companies for decades. But we might be able to find more longevity out of our roles than we do right now.

Quite frankly, job-hopping sucks for more than just the organization that has to rehire and retrain someone every couple years — it sucks for the employee, too. Yes, maybe they get promotions and raises — in fact, it’s not an uncommon way to make your way up the career ladder. But it also means taking a risk, adjusting to a new team and a new manager — possibly finding out one or both of those are a poor fit — and figuring out the nuances of a workplace and job that you could end up hating.

Worst case scenario? You end up out of work at the end of all that, and you’re back on the interview circuit.

So I think it behooves all of us to have these conversations about what we want our career paths to look like with ourselves, and our managers. It helps us get closer to the work and life we want, and it helps clue our managers in on how to give it to us.

What Elements Make Up an Effective Career …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog

      

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