May 2022
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Career Curiosity Conversations

Monday, May 2, 2022

In A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, Hollywood producer Brain Grazer popularized the idea of curiosity conversations. He explains that a curiosity conversation is much like an informational interview but without a strong agenda. It's more akin to a low-stakes chat where the sole goal is to learn something.

"Curiosity is what gives energy and insight to everything I do … For me curiosity infuses everything with a sense of possibility," Grazer writes.


Enter career curiosity, an inquisitiveness to explore the fit and possibilities between self and work. As employers struggle to retain their current workforce and bring on new talent, they need to leverage employees' career curiosity rather than fear it. Heidi Brooks, a professor at the Yale School of Management, says career curiosity conversations are a new front in managing and leading a workforce that's not planning to stay with one organization for their entire career.

During a recent CNBC Workforce Executive Council Summit focused on the topic of recruiting and retaining talent, Brooks noted that these conversations are "less about where people work and more about what people do, and that's a really fundamental shift in thinking about how to manage."

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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