Initiating a career planning conversation with your boss

The women who are the most successful in their careers are those who take the initiative to create their own growth paths. If you are ready to take the next step, don’t wait to be promoted – actively seek out opportunities. Jump at every chance to display your skills and commitment beyond your day-to-day responsibilities.

How to initiate a career conversation with your manager.

Spend time reflecting both on your achievements and skills,and the areas in which you would like to develop. Be open to feedback regarding your career gaps. Research various job prospects within your organisation and see if they align with your career goals. Be willing to change teams or divisions as other areas of the business may benefit from your skills, and provide different opportunities for professional growth.

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Alert your manager by letting them know you are interested in taking the next step in your career. Be confident in articulating your contribution to the organisation and the types of roles you are interested in. You may benefit from investing in further training, study or volunteer work to gain the skills required to move forward.

Preparing for a career conversation.

  • Career discussions usually only arise once or twice a year during designated performance review periods. Take a greater responsibility for your career and initiate these discussions in between these time periods.
  • Schedule a meeting with your manager at a time which is free from interruptions. Be open regarding the agenda so you both have time to prepare and won’t be surprised by the direction of the conversation.
  • Before the meeting, ensure you research future opportunities within the business, and have a clear understanding of how your strengths apply to these roles. Your industry body and your HR Manager will help you determine the standard skill sets and salary levels for such positions.
  • During the conversation, be direct in articulating your achievements since your last meeting and communicate your commitment to the organisation. Be open to working collaboratively with your manager to develop a specific career path.

Kellie Rigg

Kellie Rigg is the Operations Director of HR Consulting at Randstad. Randstad is a Global Fortune 500 Company and one of the world’s largest recruitment & HR services providers. The Randstad Group employs over 570,000 people every day with the aim of ‘shaping the world of work’. Randstad is passionate about matching people with organisations that will develop their potential and matching organisations with people that will take their business to the next level. Visit for further information.