Being passed over for development opportunities is one of the experiences that can make mid-career professionals feel unseen and undervalued at work. If this has happened to you then you are not alone. According to recent employee behaviour research by Randstad, employees cite good training within the top 5 attributes they are looking for in a prospective employer, and the lack of development opportunities as one of the top reasons for leaving a role.
It is clear that for some, the lack of support for personal development is a deal-breaker and has made them leave role, however, the nucleur option is not always necessary or appropriate. There are lots of options for taking matters into your own hands if your employer is not supporting your development goals...
What are the key questions for your industry? Are there specific areas of the work that interest you the most? Whether it's general leadership skills you are looking for, or technical knowledge don't wait for permission to start investigating and becoming a go-to expert on a topic of interest through your own independent research. You can start easily by following relevant industry press articles, reading any available research papers, joining groups, finding relevant contacts and conducting your own research. Reach out to existing networks or if nothing fits the bill, why not publicise your intent and create your own! You might also consider submitting articles for relevant publications based on your new found knowledge? You never know where this could lead!
Just because your employer is not offering to pay for a course does not mean you can't make the decision to learn for yourself. There are many free and inexpensive online courses and for more involved training, there may be other funding routes available, such as grants and loans from government-funded skills development bodies, enterprise funds or special offers from local or specialist institution educational establishments. Whether it's OpenLearn, Harvard online, or commercial learning sites like Udemy, there are a vast array of short, inexpensive online course options - look around - for less than the price of a cafe brunch you could find yourself picking up new skills in your own time!
Is there someone already doing the dream role or making an impact in the way that you would like to learn from? Many larger organisations facilitate mentoring opportunities more formally but if yours is not one of them, why not look up appropriate mentors in your network and approach them to ask if they would be interested? Most people would be flattered that you asked. Be clear on what you woud like from the relationship - there are many examples of mentoring agreements that you could review and talk through at your first meeting.
Coaching differs from Mentoring because it is designed to help you uncover the the answers to your key dilemmas for yourself through a structured process of probing and questioning. In Confidence Collaborative Group Coaching, our first priority is to set a safe space for you to explore and you will be in a small group (max 4) who will help support you with your challenge. As feedback from members who have tried it attests, this can be a powerful but affordable way of driving you forward in your career intentions. For less than the price of a good haircut you might just find some answers that dramatically change your life!
It helped me... and gave me suggestions to help with my next steps and gave me the confidence to put some of these into action... I would definitely recommend! (CC Group Coaching Participant)
Get a Coach
If you are serious about making changes and getting the most out of your career, 1-2-1 coaching can provide the opportunity to get support that is tailored to your individual circumstances and preferences. 121 coaching might be a one-off session for a specific challenge or a series or specific package. We are all unique and every coach has their own style and chemistry is important so it is key to find the right coach for you. Most coaches will offer an introductory call free of charge so you can assess whether they will be a suitable match for what you are looking for. Get in touch if you want to find out more about Confidence Collaborative coaching.
Whatever you choose to do to further your own development, taking action will help you to feel more in the driving seat of your career. Spend some time thinking about what direction you want to go, and enjoy the ride!
Why not start by joining us on this Friday's free Lunch and Learn on Navigating Office Politics - sign up at Eventbrite.
Maggie & Joanne