Promotions Are So Yesterday: Redefining Career Development

IRI Podcast episode on redefining career development

In this episode of ProjectHR, we’ll be focusing on career development, which, for most of us, has been defined almost exclusively in promotions, moves and job title changes. But should “climbing the corporate ladder“ be the only way for employees to grow? Today, we talk with Julie Winkle Giulioni, the Principal and Instructional Designer with DesignArounds, and author of Promotions Are SO Yesterday: Redefine Career Development. Help Employees Thrive. Here, she explains:

  • Why "climbing the ladder" is problematic;
  • Who bears the responsibility of leading an employee's development;
  • How employee development can serve as key leverage in engaging and retaining your workforce; and
  • Why understanding the concept of Multidimensional Careers redefines career development!


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The Responsibility of Career Development

  • Before the pandemic, Ms. Giulioni did research that showed that 70% of employees believe career development is the responsibility of their manager, who too frequently do not recognize that expectation of their employee or don’t have the skill set to do so. She is setting out to redefine career development.
  • A relationship between an employee and their manager should be a partnership. Employees need to own their development, and set the direction and pace that they want to succeed and excel. A manager’s job is to support and facilitate this development, and create a sense of empowerment for their employees to grow. 

The Multidimensional Career

  • Traditionally, careers and career development has been viewed as only one dimensional, with the only way to advance on the corporate ladder is by fitting into the organizational chart of the business.
  • If employees take off the blinders of how career growth is historically viewed, and redefine career development, employees and leaders can deliver more development than employees expect.
  • There are Seven Alternative Dimensions that help redefine career development:
    • Contribution;
    • Competence;
    • Connection;
    • Confidence;
    • Challenge;
    • Contentment;
    • Choice; and
    • Climbing up the corporate ladder
  • By using these guidelines, employees are able to grow, and leaders are able to educate employees about how to achieve their goals through redefining career development in a new perspective.

The Promotions Are So Yesterday Assessment

  • The book provides a paper-based assessment to help managers lay out what an employee’s interests are. There is also a digital version where employees can assess themselves, and provides a summary of where their interests lie, and where they can improve. 
    • This assessment is the starting point for building a multidimensional career, and allows employees and leaders to reflect on how best they might measure success in the workplace for each individual, as well as help redefine their career development.
  • It is also helpful for leaders to take the assessment, and provides strong insight on where they can improve in their own positions and work styles.

Career Development and Promotions

  • The outdated way of thinking about career development is through promotions, and while that is sometimes an indicator, redefining what career development means gives employees more ways to grow and allows for a deeper enrichment of what success and career advancement means.
  • Creating a development plan between a team leader and an employee establishes a partnership to allow for individualized growth. These plans encourage employees and leaders alike, to step out of their comfort zone, look for greater opportunities within the company, and develop their skills over time. 
    • Within these plans, leaders and their employees can also develop challenges to measure growth and create a more enriching experience.
    • Developing a multidimensional plan also allows for growth even when positions “up the ladder” are not available. 

Watch Them Grow

Julie Winkle Giulioni Background

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About the Author Jacqueline Gregory

A 20+ year media veteran, Jacqui has produced custom communications for some of the world's best-known brands. Producing ProjectHR has been one of her favorite ways to engage and delight HR and Labor Relations professionals!

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