How to Develop Career Capital for Mentees
When people hear the word capital, they usually think about money. But did you know that you can develop career capital? Career capital includes the rare and valuable skills that you have that can be used as leverage in defining your career. To get that amazing career that you’ve been dreaming of, you must have something amazing to offer the employers.
That is where your career capital will help you to shine. When you develop career capital, you are able to obtain autonomy in your career. Developing this capital and using it to shape you career and your entire life is very beneficial.
Here are 5 tips for mentees to develop career capital:
1. Be Flexible
It’s important to develop career capital that is flexible. That means capital that is relevant and transferable to different jobs in the future. The job market is changing, you are changing, and every aspect of the world is constantly changing. Your career capital must allow you to transition into new areas in the future where you can have a greater impact.
Some great ways to develop career flexibility include participating in a mentoring program. Mentors have gone through similar paths and can easily identify where your flexibility can come from. They also have the ability to see your skills and career from the outside, providing much needed insight into your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Don’t Focus on Passion
This one may seem a little controversial, but this is not to say completely ignore the concept of doing what you love. This just means that there are other things you should focus on, like the value that you can bring to a job. If you are focusing on what you can offer the world, you are able to better determine what skills you have that can be continuously developed.
3. Find Out What Skills are Valuable in Your Field
You know the skills that you possess, but you may not know which ones you should develop to help you move along your career path. Because career development is happening all around you, pinpoint these skills by looking at your peers and the paths they have chosen. Great career development plans can be devised by observing those that did it before you.
Which plan do you want to follow? Take the skills that an inspirational individual has and focus on them for yourself. Even further, invest time into a mentorship to get individualized help from an experienced individual.
4. Seek Feedback
Receiving honest feedback is a great way to retrain your focus so that you can continue to make progress. However, it is not necessarily plausible for managers and other leaders to provide feedback on every employee constantly. This is where having a mentor really comes in handy.
Having feedback from someone who has been there before allows you to know if what you are doing will lead you to where you want to go. Mentoring sessions provide a safe space to ask questions and get honest feedback that can be taken constructively. Mentors should, however, be trained to give this feedback constructively and follow up with the mentee afterwards.
5. Work Towards Your Goals
There are a few things that you need to remember about goals:
- You should never work without a goal
- Make sure that your goal is realistic and appropriate
- Keep track of your progress towards this goal
- Share your goals with others to keep yourself accountable
Goals give you something to work towards, but if you are working towards goals that won’t help you really achieve your desired career, then you are wasting time. This means that thought and effort should go into goal setting. A great way to use goals to develop your career capital is by thinking of them as “little bets.”
This idea was coined in a book by venture capitalist Peter Sims. It states that you should work towards goals that are small enough to be completed in less than a month and that force you to develop something new. For example, acquiring a new skill that will help you further your career.
Not sure what career goals to set? This is another instance where participating in a mentoring program can be very useful. Mentors are able to go through goal setting sessions with you. They are also helpful in tracking goal progressions and keeping you accountable.
If you would like to start a mentoring program or need help creating a culture of career development, request a demo from us today.
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