2022 - The Year to Develop Your Career

MIDAS returned on 2 November 2021 for its second season, focusing on career development and mentoring. In the first of two webinars – titled  ‘2022 – The Year to Develop Your Career’, Dr Hilary Cooke, owner of Merlin Business Consultancy and expert in learning and development, explored the definition of career and how to maximise development.

As the hospitality industry battles recruitment issues and hoteliers do all they can to attract staff, the session was a valuable one for employers and employees alike.

Dr Cooke began the session by defining ‘career’ as a lifelong process of choosing, developing and advancing in your occupation. Dr Cooke presented four traditional career structures: Linear careers comprise of a single path where advancement is represented by new responsibility and material success; Steady state careers work towards the mastery of a craft in a single path, wherein you would retire as an expert in your field, and spiral careers are based upon challenge and personal growth, where you often move between industries and occupations. Finally, transitory careers are presented as frequent role changes with little regard for work as a motivator, but instead to gain financial stability in order to pursue other activities.

Dr Cooke then introduced a fifth career concept: the Protean career. This is defined by an overall goal of self-development and is driven by the personal values and goals of the individual. It is driven by the person rather than the organisation and involves frequent changes of role and environment. Referring to the current crisis in hospitality recruitment, Dr Cooke posed the question: Should we be aiming for retention in hospitality careers, or embracing the Protean career model and eliminating our prejudices that all valuable careers are based on long-term employment and linear progression?

Dr Cooke offered eight practical career development tips for aspirational hospitality professionals to implement in order to maximise their development. These were:

1. Know your values – By understanding what values and ideals are most important to you, you can better determine your ideal work environment and ensure that you are comfortable and thriving.

2. Set small goals regularly – Continually question and analyse your current reality, your aspirations and your strategic plan, and evaluate yourself to self-manage your development journey.

3. Get feedback – Using tools such as the JoHari Window, which encourages self-awareness, solicit feedback from your peers to discover potential of which you are not yet conscious.

4. Read, research and be curious about your industry – Staying engaged with new or popular material within the industry or your job role (e.g., leadership books) prevents your career development from remaining static.

5. Curate your learning – Keep a journal or record of what you learn and how you apply it, and act on opportunities such as training, feedback or reflective writing, to track your development and learn from experience.

6. Promote/support industry – Attend events, share social media posts, network and share stories, enter awards, support industry charities, and stay connected with your industry to share and gain knowledge.

7. Get involved in mentoring – Find a mentor outside of your work environment as an impartial influence that can advise on your career development and provide feedback.

8. Network - Participate in industry events, such as the upcoming Hotel Leadership Conference, to network and share ideas with likeminded peers and gain a wider scope on the industry.

The next MIDAS masterclass will be taking place on Monday 22 November. Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ASwFWw9WRKO9M5-buNJdkA

Watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLKWv5jgz7s