I have the privilege of leading a great group of IT professionals at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Part of my role is to help my team members think about and plan for their careers. I wrote about an approach using Personal Learning Plans that contributes to my thinking about this topic. I also added my thoughts to something Chris Lockhart (@chrisonea) wrote called The Right Stuff in a post called Building on the Right Stuff.
I had two sessions over the past weeks helping intermediate systems analysts think about where they should focus their efforts in their learning plans and about their future career paths. I introduced both people to our thinking about the types of people that are needed in every organization (in our case in IT organizations).
We started by talking about some of these continuum that influence careers:
- Individual vs Team
- Follower vs Leader
- Technical vs Functional
- Departmental vs Enterprise
- Specialist vs Generalist
I firmly believe you need to know yourself before you can determine the paths you will take. I suggested to both team members to take the Myers-Briggs tests to get a clearer sense of themselves. Taking this approach also allows us to have a common vocabulary when talking about personality attributes. Take a look at my blog post Being a Teacher Works for Me. I suggest you take the test and see if it matches your perception of yourself. I will write another post that builds on the next step of our discussion by looking at what attributes we should work on.