Help employees climb the career ladder in their own time

We know that career development is key to retaining top talent and as leaders, a major part of your job is helping your employees grow and prepare for their next challenge.

But career development is a two-way street between employer and employee, and it doesn’t just have to happen during office hours. Here are four suggestions to encourage your employees to climb the career ladder in their own time:

1. Study

Recommend taking a night class or an online course with SEEK Learning. Whether your employee is studying to complement their current role or they have their eye on a different career entirely, encourage them to use their downtime to up-skill.

It doesn’t have to be official study either. Some of modern history’s greatest achievers are autodidacts – men and women who eschewed traditional learning models to instead teach themselves. Bill Gates and Richard Branson are just two examples you can share to show what autodidacts, and more importantly taking learning into one’s own hands, can achieve.

2. Read

CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are said to read an average of four to five books a month. In fact, most successful leaders – from Warren Buffett to Barack Obama – are voracious readers, finding valuable lessons and strategies within the words and thoughts of others.

For personal and professional development, suggest that your employees read as much as they can and always share content that has caught your own attention. It doesn’t have to be 1000-page history books from the library, with the proliferation of digital content, we can now research and read up on pretty much anything that interests us.

3. Volunteer

Practical, real-time experience is invaluable. And sometimes, if we don’t have experience to offer, we need to offer our services – for free.

Working for ‘free’ is by definition a contentious issue, but if volunteering gives an employee access to the people, skills and experiences they need to develop their career, it can be positioned as an investment in their future, and a way to get their foot in the door. Check out SEEK Volunteer for current volunteering opportunities.

4. Network

Professional networks give employees access to like-minded people, and to all the knowledge and career development opportunities they bring with them.

From Business Chicks, Australia’s number one network for women, to industry-specific networks, help your employees increase their profile – and their career potential – by suggesting the best network or meet-up for them.

When these after-hours strategies are joined with on-the-job training and development, climbing that career ladder becomes a combined effort between employer and employee, and both parties stand to gain from the knowledge and skills picked up along the way.
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Sarah Beck


Head of Executive Search

Sarah Beck leads the recruitment activities of SEEK focussing on the difficult-to-recruit roles, along with talent and succession planning. Prior to SEEK, Sarah spent 14 years with Russell Reynolds Associates – a global executive and assessment...

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