Defining a path for career growth is essential
6 December, 2017
Once, one of my engineers came to me and explained that he was concerned about his growth as an engineer. He wanted to improve as an engineer and wanted guidance on how to proceed.
In order to let both of us structure our ideas, I suggested that he should think about what was important for him in terms of long-term growth, and that we would discuss it during our next one-on-one. The following week, he explained that he wanted to become an expert in a core technology that we were using at our company. We discussed what he would have to work on to get there and then went over a few different ideas. For example, we discussed talking to other people at the company who already had expertise in the area and looking through documentation on best practices. Together, we built an action plan that we put into motion. I noticed that he was much happier and stimulated after this.
It is important to have regular conversations around career growth with engineers. The goal of the conversation is not to define the path for them, but to help them define the path, and then work with them to figure out a plan to achieve their goals. Having clearly defined engineering levels can be very useful in guiding this conversation. This helps set clear expectations and provides a common language that you can use as you think about career growth within the company.
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