Purposeful Talent Development: Helping your staff navigate the ‘career jungle gym’

Thinking about growing your people in this new way can help you capitalize on opportunities that could otherwise be missed.

National awareness days and months are all over our calendar. For example, December 2019 is International Volunteer Day for Economic & Social Development month. Dec. 1 is National Pie Day. January is National Mentoring Month. The purpose of these days is to remind us to refocus our energy and efforts for a day or a month to bring awareness or—in the case of National Pie Day, a little joy—to our lives.

Did you know that November is National Career Development Month? Now, this may not be as exciting as National Salsa Month (it’s May, if you are curious), but it is important. It allows us an opportunity to think about not just our development within our current roles, but our careers. This can seem like a big task for anyone, especially those that may not have any specific career goals or direction. This month is a great opportunity to reflect about what interests you and what might be good opportunities or paths help you do more in than vein.

About six years ago, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, brought the term “career jungle gym” to the masses. From Sandberg, it’s the idea that you don’t have to have a set plan for your career development because you don’t know what opportunities might arise in the future. If we look at this concept from an internal organizational perspective, it’s championing the mindset that you don’t always have to move up in an organization to move ahead.


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