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Don’t Let Your Employees Voyage the Sea of Career Paths Alone   

I’ve been listening to the Moana soundtrack on repeat since I went to see the movie. Moana, the daughter of a Chief, sets out on a voyage to save her people and find herself. I realized that finding the right career path can be a lot like voyaging overseas. Voyaging across turbulent seas can be frightening. The unexpected obstacles can make it difficult to voyage alone.

Today’s top companies are already supporting employees along their career paths, in a variety of ways, in order to compete as employers of choice. It’s time for you to board the canoe and guide your employees on their voyage through the sea of careers.

Board the canoe and guide your employees on their voyage through the sea of #careers! Click To Tweet

If you are not yet ready to board, join us as we map out ways you can prepare your employees to become avid career voyagers.

Where should they go? Identifying career paths

It is likely that some of your employees have not found a destination for their career journey ahead. In order to find out where they want to land, they need to find out what jobs and paths exist in the mysterious and wondrous sea of careers. Simply starting a conversation can help employees discover where they want to be. You can become or identify a mentor and set up monthly or weekly time to discuss areas of interest. During these conversations, ask key questions about past experiences and where they see themselves in the future. Maybe, in five to ten years they will be sailing through a different channel.

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What do they need to get there? Finding skills and strengths

Seafarers can’t bring everything on their voyages. They need to pick and choose which items will be most beneficial to them on this unpredictable journey. An employee’s strengths can be their most important tool to get through any stormy seas. If you or your managers are struggling to help employees identify their strengths, ask your employees to take a personality test or the Strengths Finder. Focusing on strengths is an empowering way to lead employees through professional development.

Although strengths are important, you also need to be prepared to address skills gaps. Gaps are like leaks in the canoe, preventing employees from sailing to their desired destination. It may be more beneficial for both employee and organization to develop missing skills in existing employees than to look for the perfect candidate in a competitive market. Provide your employees with the tools they need to patch up the canoe and sail on.

How will they get there? Discovering career development opportunities

Now that the voyager has an idea of where they want to go and what they need to weather the voyage, they need to start plotting a course to the destination. Highlight career development opportunities that will steer them in the right direction. Since they have uncovered their strengths, they can look for job destinations that showcase them. As a helpful retention tip, if the employee is not already on course to the destination of their dreams, keep them apprised of any internal job postings that may be a great development stop along the way.

In the end, the voyage may not go exactly as planned. They may even end up somewhere that that they never imagined. Like Moana, you may not know the exact right way or how far they will go. Eventually, your employees will end up exactly where they need to be. With a little bit of coaching your employees will also be able to navigate the sea of career paths.

What have you done to help employees identify their career paths? Share in the comments below!

Jaimelenn Uemura
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