When I talk to team members about career goals and aspirations, I make it clear that I’m here to support them in achieving their goals. I’m also up front in acknowledging that this may mean growing into a new role on the team, moving to a new role in the company, or even finding a new opportunity outside of the company. This last point usually gets me a raised eyebrow or a question along the lines of, “are you trying to get rid of me?” ?
Of course not!
I want to work with amazing people and do great things together, hopefully for a long time. In parallel, I’m being realistic that the team or company may not be able to provide a person with everything they’re looking for in their career. Plus, the last thing I want is someone to feel stuck and turn in lacklustre results while secretly on the hunt for their next role. We all know this is true – and chances are we’ve been in that situation at one point or another – so why pretend like it isn’t?
Being this candid from the start lays the foundation for richer conversations, a greater degree of openness about goals and aspirations, and a deeper commitment to delivering great results for the time we work together. All of this without the worry of being surprised one day by someone telling you that they’re leaving. Instead, should that day come, we celebrate the news together because their success is our success and vice versa.
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