At the ASTD conference held recently in Dallas, Caitlin Williams and I did a presentation, based on our forthcoming book, Career Moves, 3rd edition, (ASTD Press), which includes a handout listing career-focused questions for participants to ask themselves.
The purpose of this exercise is to help you identify key elements of a career strategy and action plan. Your responses serve as the basis for decision-making and will help you stay on target. Some questions can be relevant to the present, while others can be more applicable to your future work.
The handout questions included:
- If you have not familiarized yourself with the new ASTD Competency Model you need to do so. What changes or revisions do you feel are most relevant to your T&D career?
- Have changes occurred in your organization that are or can impact your job or career? How are you preparing yourself for a transition?
- Do you feel you are up to date with your skills, knowledge, and tools? If no, why not?
- Do you have written short- and long-term goals? If yes, list them. If no, why not?
- How do you approach planning for advancement along your pathway?
- Deliberately? Lackadaisically? Do you believe that outside forces control your destiny? Other?
- If because of job loss, for example, you needed to change direction or make a shift in your T&D career, how would you reinvent yourself? What would be your first step?
- Do you understand the importance of having a brand that projects an ideal professional image? If yes, can you describe yours in an introduction? If not, what do you think is the impression people have of you as a T&D professional?
- Have you developed an array of updated accomplishments to use for specific situations and audiences? If no, why not?
- What is your professional story, who is your audience, and why should they listen?
- If you have decided to make a career move or professional shift, what is the work modification and where are you in carrying out an action plan?
- Do you review your job and career satisfaction, status, and progress? If yes, how often does the assessment occur? If reviews do not take place, why not?
- Do you think your work/life balance is in good shape? If it tilts too much in one direction, which way does it tilt, and what can you do realistically to return to a more even keel and maintain a balance?
- What do you think are your best career management skills? What are your poorest?
- Overall, how do you feel about the level of your career management skills? Are your skills, great, good, average, poor, or nonexistent?
- What actions will you take in the next few months to improve your career management skills and practices?
I am interested in your feedback. Did these questions help you to envision your T&D pathway, and clarify your goals with a more distinct focus? How and why were they useful? What other questions would you add to the listing? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.