Career Requirement: Fundamental Building Block of Your Career Development

It helps you understand the skills and competencies required for success in your career development.

Why they are important to you

Career requirements including skills and competencies form an integral part of key peopleprocessessuch:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Performance management; and
  • Training and development

To understand why you need to take skills and competencies seriously let us look at each of these people processes and how it impacts on you and your career.

Recruitment and selection

The recruitment and selection process will apply to you if you are applying for a new job both within and outside your present company.

Good recruitment and selection processes are designed around position and career requirements, skills and competencies. They test your proficiency level in the competencies that are required for entry into the position and for performing at a high level.

If you meet a certain level then you proceed to the next round. Otherwise you are eliminated.

Many people go through recruitment and selection processes without paying much attention to the position or career requirements and competencies that are being assessed.

Try and establish what the competency requirements are before you go through the recruitment process. Also, find out how the competencies will be assessed.

You can find this out through your various career research activities such as company research , career fairs , career conversations and informational interviews. Use this information to plan and prepare in advance for the recruitment and selection process.

Common methods of assessment are written tests, simulation activities or assessment centers which may include group activities and finally interviews.

Performance management

The performance management process will apply to you if you are already working in a position and interested in further development in your present job or a future job or career.

Good performance management systems are based on position or career requirements including a combination of what you have to do (job or business unit goals and objectives) and how you do it (usually behavioral characteristics). These are in turn linked to leadership and technical competencies.

You need to find out what these competencies are and how you will be measured against them.

A simple way of finding this out is to ask your immediate manager about it. Your Human Resources staff should also be able to assist.

This information will help you assess your current gaps and develop an action plan to close those gaps.

This can equally be applied to a new job or career you aspire to. By going through this process and assessing the position or career requirements you will be able to find out what competencies you need to work on so you can apply and be successful in moving to the job or career you desire.

You should also make use of the performance management process to seek feedback on your performance from your immediate manager, your customers and others you work with.

The feedback might not be pleasant but it is necessary for you to develop yourself.

If you are not receiving regular feedback then demand it - your manager owes it you.

Training and development

Training and development is applicable to everyone at all levels.

Good training and development systems are also based on position or career requirements and competencies. They focus on core leadership and technical competencies that is required for success.

A company's training and development programs are aimed at closing performance and competency gaps of its people.

You need to know what competencies you want to develop so you can make the best use of the training and development programs offered by your company to close those gaps.

Having this information will help you to prioritize your gaps and aim for the training and development programs that will maximize your learning.

What's in it for you?

Understanding and developing your career requirements and competencies will help you to grow and develop in your job, take on more challenging assignments, get promotions, move laterally, cross-functionally, and if you wanted to then moving on to another company.

Your competencies are your strengths.

They are what set you apart from others. Develop and hone them and you can end up having a competitive edge over others!

Why they are also important to your manager

Your manager should have a good understanding of the skills, competencies, position or career requirements to perform successfully in a particular job.

This information will help the manager identify the sort of staff required in the department to deliver on the business objectives.

He or she should also be working with you to identify your areas of strengths and competency gaps so a development plan can be put in place to develop you in the job.

This is an important role which unfortunately tends to get sidelined due to the pressures of work.

You have an equal responsibility in this - so drive it! Don't wait for your manager to come and ask you to do a career skill assessment. After all it is your career.

Why they are important to companies

Finally companies that have a good competency framework in place and can really harness the power of its people and use it as a competitive strength.

Just look out for the good companies that catch your attention - it is usually their people performing their role at a very effective level that sets them apart from others.

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