Latticing sounds great! How do I know which way to grow?
When you start to look around for career growth, rather than just up, a new world of options opens up. How do you narrow down the possibilities?
Here’s how to get a grip on your lattice.
First, don’t assume that the training your employer provides or encourages you to get is the best strategic fit for your career growth.
The Accenture Skills Gap Study found that employees were most likely (52%) to have gained technical skills in the past five years. Lagging far behind were problem-solving skills (31%), analytical skills (26%) and managerial skills (21%). But guess what skills employers claim are in shortest supply? Yup: those know-it-when-they-see -it creative and problemsolving skills — the very ones that employers are least likely to pay for.
Scrutinize the skill sets and job descriptions of people who currently hold jobs you’d like to have. (LinkedIn and BranchOut are great sources for job-skills-peeping.)
Match up what they have that you lack. What can you most likely get your employer to pay for? Technical skills, probably. You might have to gain creative, problemsolving and managerial skills by volunteering for leadership responsibilities on the job or in your off-hours.
Another way to tackle the where-to-start dilemma is to see how your situation compares to the norm. Leadership consulting firm PDI Ninth House recently tracked the strengths that men and women business leaders tended to have at various points in their careers. Both men and women senior leaders tend to be highly ranked on all skills.
But PDI found that middle management men are viewed as stronger in financial management and strategy; women are better at collaboration, trust, developing others, and customer needs.
Do your current strengths align with these gender norms? If so, you will need to explicitly pursue opportunities to backfill the skills usually considered a strength in the opposite gender. As you do, build case studies that show your skills in action; your success stories will show how you demonstrate the skills used by current organizational leaders.