We all want to grow our careers in meaningful ways. Even as a 5 year old, it was a question I answered often and it’s one that I have continued to ask myself every year since then. While my aspirations have changed, I have learned a lot about myself along the way. Navigating and owning your career can be a challenge no matter what stage or level you’re at. It’s a continuous process of exploring what’s most important to you, gaining knowledge, and improving skills that advance you toward your career aspirations.
This past fall as part of Intuit’s Career Growth Month, we shared tangible ways for our team to keep their career moving. More than 4,000 of our employees participated in a variety of activities, including career coaching, goal-setting, “day in the life” sessions to learn about other roles at Intuit, and more–all in service to owning and growing their careers. I’m thrilled to share some tips from our team that can be used to progress your own career, no matter where you may work.
Six Ways to Keep Your Career Moving
1. Identify your growth aspirations
Set aside some time to focus on your own self-reflection, what gives you energy and what kind of impact you want to have in your work and in your life. Think about the support you may need to reach your goals and what is your ideal timeline to reach your next milestone.
Ask yourself where you see yourself in the next 2, 5 or even 10 years. Be honest and be as specific as possible. This also allows you to hold yourself accountable for making progress against your aspirations.
2. Assess your strengths and opportunities
Based on your aspirations, try to identify experiences or skills you will need to learn or strengthen to help you reach your goals. Be sure to think about both “What” you deliver and “How” you deliver your work. The “What” involves your skills and craft while the “How” refers to your approach on getting the work done. This can be skills like partnering with others, written communication or even how you represent your work during meetings.
Proactively seek feedback from your leaders, coaches, mentors and peers to help you assess your current skills and identify the development actions that will move you closer to achieving your aspirations. Getting constructive feedback can be tough, but has advantages–think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
3. Have open conversations with your manager
Talk to your manager about your focus areas and career aspirations. Be sure to write down your personal development goals to help propel you to achieve those aspirations.
Schedule check-ins to talk about your career development throughout the year. That way, at the end of the year, you’ll have a solid alignment and documentation of your progress, accomplishments, and development.
4. Look for mentors within your personal network
Don’t stop with your manager. Think about your network, who you admire and look up to, seek out peers and leaders you may be able to learn from.
Research shows that sharing your goals with others creates accountability that will keep you motivated in achieving your career milestones and goals. Plus, you can build stronger relationships within your existing network!
5. Take advantage of learning and growth opportunities
Finding ways to grow is different for everyone, and there’s no one-size-fits all approach. As you explore the best growth levers to utilize for your interests, consider stretch assignments, exploring internal mobility opportunities, finding a mentor, shadowing someone in a different role, or training.
In addition to setting career goals, set learning goals and track them. Whether it’s taking online courses, reading a new book, or attending a conference-there are so many ways to learn and build your skills. Write these learning goals down–be specific, set a timeline with milestones, and reflect on them periodically to help keep yourself accountable and moving forward.
6. Reflect and repeat
Career growth isn’t just a one time thing — it is a continuous journey of introspection, self awareness, feedback, and personal development. By taking ownership of your career, in partnership with your manager, your investments and actions will propel you to reach your aspirations and potential.
Never stop learning and remember that career growth looks different for everyone.
Taking steps to grow your career can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Be honest with where you want to be and map out tangible steps to build the capability and confidence you need to get there.
At Intuit, we strive to create an environment where our employees can learn and grow, feel connected, and make an impact. Interested in joining our team? We’re always looking for great talent. Visit our careers website to learn more and apply for open roles.