Creating your career development framework: Insights from a career expert

In Summary

• Great careers don’t happen by chance; they are the result of careful planning, execution and self-awareness.

• Angie Gachui Founder at 3BL-Africa and a member of WomenWork Network breaks down key aspects of a Career Development Framework.

Angie Gachui
Angie Gachui

Great careers don’t happen by chance; they are the result of careful planning, execution and self-awareness.

Angie Gachui Founder at 3BL-Africa and a member of WomenWork Network breaks down key aspects of a Career Development Framework.

What career stage are you in?

  • Exploration: this is usually in your first job, post-college/university. This stage is marked by discovery and learning, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and trying different things. In this stage, it feels like the ‘career world’ is your oyster and anything is possible.

Angie’s Advice: Explore! Explore! Explore! You have your entire career ahead of you so don’t be afraid try new things, work in different teams and departments and be stretched!

  • Established: You have now identified a field or organization that you want to grow in, whether in line with what you studied or on skills acquired during the Exploration phase. This stage offers the opportunity to deepen your knowledge, build practical skills and competence. There is a steep learning curve, opportunities for exposure and increased mobility.

Angie’s Advice: Take full advantage of opportunities presented to you. This is a great window for you to invest in your trade, build a robust and diverse portfolio of experiences. Start to develop your professional brand and carve out space in your industry.

  • Advancement: You have worked for a while now and are solidifying your professional toolkit as you progress in seniority. In this stage, there is a heavy emphasis on performance and you will be assessed on your ability to consistently deliver results on complex work. At this stage your performance could soar or dip and you might find yourself considering change. Angie’s Advice: Take the time to reflect on your career and how it is serving you holistically. Is it helping you achieve your goals? Ensure that any decision you make, is appropriate your personal aspirations and circumstances.
  • Transitioning: For some the transition is retirement. It could also be a significant career shift, into a new profession, entrepreneurship, a personal break or to pursue educational pursuits. This stage can be fraught with anxiety, but presents great opportunities to infuse your career path with new energy.

Angie’s Advice: While there might be many unknowns in this stage, there are also many opportunities. Remind yourself of the reason why this transition is necessary and seek out the support and resources you need to thrive in this space.

Career Planning in 3-steps

It is possible to undergo a career planning and development process, no matter what stage of career you are in.

  • Strategy: Where are you trying to get to in your career over the next X years? Take the time to articulate your vision, values and unique selling proposition. Break down your career goal into short and long term goals that you can measure;
  • Metrics & Milestones: Use these to measure your progress, celebrate achievements and where necessary adjust your approach;
  • Execution: This is what ensures that the vision becomes a reality. Execution is about the deliberate steps taken on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Think carefully about how to spread out the activities/ steps across the X-year period.
  • Career Development/Progression

It takes more than being smart, well-educated and working hard to progress in your career and achieve great heights; in fact, those are basic elements that contribute to your professional credibility!

Perception – How do people perceive you professionally? What would it take to change their perception of you? Do you demonstrate or possess the traits that are expected at the next level you aspire to?

Performance and Relationships – Do you consistently deliver above expectations? Do you invest in relationships with your team, peers and leadership? Who around you, knows you well and would vouch for you when you are not in the room?

Authenticity - What makes you different from the next person? What makes you memorable? Do people know you beyond your job title? Do you have the confidence to be authentically you?

Finally, the road to a successful and fulfilling career can be overwhelming, but you need to not walk it alone. Reach out to [email protected] for career coaching support.