Career Management Part 7



  1. Career Phases

With mastery of a skill or skills, can job burnout be far behind?Which phase are you in?

 We did say that anytime is the right time to start the career planning process for successful career management.

What follows is a tool that I use with my employed clients to find out where they might be in their career.  Every 2 or three weeks, I ask them two questions: “What did you do for the company ay this week?”  The answer is typically a long list of “accomplishments” and successes. The second question asked is:’’ Besides a paycheck, what did the company do for you?”.  The answer is much shorter.  They try to say what they learned that benefitted their career management program, offers of training or development, did their boss participate in any phase of the career management program execution.

In an ideal world, the answers to the questions should be about 50% for the company and about 50% to the employee.  Yes, I acknowledge that is unrealistic. But my experience with clients says it is more 90% what the company got and 10% was what the employee received (excluding a paycheck and benefits).


If there are any of you who are concerned about the war for talent and its retention, make a concentrated effort to find out the career mindset of your current employees.

Both learning and developing motivate us and keep us alive.  As learning/development decreases, I find that motivation and self-esteem tend to hit the skids.  Most companies encourage us to keep doing what we are doing successfully – and they will pay top dollars and give a lot of ego strokes to keep us in place.

It is up to the employee to set limits on company requests based on which phase they are in. As we have noted before, you can create a career plan anytime

Which phase are you in today?

Phase One:  You are considered a relative newbie with a high learning curve. Self-esteem is good as well as motivation. Confidence is tested.  External credibility starts to grow.  The dollars are OK.

Phase Two:  Competent but still learning; motivation and drive are high. Confidence grows.  Viewed as an “up and coming player” in the skills area.  The dollars start to increase.

Phase Three:  Now fully competent and approaching mastery but still learning (albeit at a slower pace).  Motivation and drive can start to waver. Viewed as credible and “right up there”.  A good jump in dollars.

Phase Four:  Highly proficient. Attained the SME and/or thought leader status.  Has mastered a skill. Learning process has slowed to a trickle. Motivation and drive are minimal at best.  Viewed as “the go to person” and discouraged from trying anything “new”.  The dollars are there, and buying a lot of false happiness. This phase lasts for a relatively short time

Phase Five:  No learning, resentful, job burnout, bored, unhappy, feeling trapped and powerless and does not want use this skill anymore – regardless of the dollars.  There usually is a lot of fear and confusion.  This mindset bleeds over into the personal life.

Best time for you to start planning the next move?

About Phase 3.

We are goal oriented.  We are motivated when we are learning and growing in the process of attaining the goal.  Career management and development are the full responsibility of the employee.  Your employer may or not be able to support your development if it is not aligned with their goals.  But you are in the driver’s seat nonetheless.

One question remains regarding developing a career plan:

 If not now, when?


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