• Harry Stavridis

Who’s Managing Your Career?

Career Management in the corporate world has had a long evolution. Many companies started out by rewarding their employees’ loyalty with career progression. Longer employee tenures with a company gave the company the “runway” it needed to drive the creation of defined career paths and promote from within. Traditional corporate hierarchies made it easier to ensure that front-line managers provided career-oriented guidance.

As employee mobility amongst companies gained momentum, and “flatter” organizations started to become the norm, challenges with this model started appearing. Shorter employee turnover cycles muddied succession planning and made training options appear riskier to companies that could not be sure whether employees would take expensive, new skills to competitors. Removing managerial layers from organizational charts made accountability for nurturing staff progression confusing at best, and altogether bypassed at worst.

Regardless of these challenges, employees today rightfully want investment in their careers. They want a roadmap for progression and an advocate to help them get to where they want to go. Macedon provides this advocacy in the form of a Career Manager (CM). While Macedonians still drive their careers, CMs are right by their side to provide perspective, advise on long- and short-term goals, measure performance-related progress, act as a sounding board for challenges, and advocate for assignments that will further the person’s career goals and interests. Macedon is a project-based organization, making it easy for our employees to move between projects and clients; while their upline project managers may change, the CM provides a consistent touchpoint to help guide them along the way.

So what makes a good CM? As a CM for several of Macedon’s Project Leaders for the past couple of years, caring is the most important attribute. The best CMs take a genuine interest in their staff's careers, truly wanting the best for them. They know their staff well, and meet with them regularly, so that they can advocate effectively, guide career choices, and recommend meaningful, tailored goals.

I have personally felt the joy of helping people through the CM role. During a regularly scheduled check-in meeting, one of my staff members - not on any of my direct-line projects - asked me for advice on addressing a challenge with client interactions. I could sense that this challenge was weighing heavily on the person. Putting aside everything else I had planned to cover for that meeting, I listened intently to this person’s concerns and frustrations. Drawing on Macedon’s lessons learned in this area, as well as my own, we game-planned on several different things to try, and I offered to circle back to see how things went. Within a couple of hours, this person relayed that they were successful on their first try applying some of the things that we had talked about. While they had just started making headway on addressing the challenges (relationships aren’t built in a day), it sounded like a huge weight was lifted off of their shoulders.

With a CM in their corner, Macedonians are ready to face challenges and take the next big step in their career!

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