In the Career and Corporate Life Management Mentorship we refer to the need to mastering the following generic phases: career development education → enter first job → technician → admin → functional → specialist → supervisory → management → leadership → executive → directorship → board role → retirement → post retirement roles. We also acknowledge that career and corporate life journey is not a straight line. We should, in our orientation, see our career progression following a pattern like the one above. When there is detour, we must be conscious of it and, as far as possible, influence the new direction. That will confirm to us that we are alert and directing our career and corporate life evolution. We will make mistakes but they will be manageable.
We all start somewhere in our career journeys, either as administrators or technical workforce. That is the foundation that is highly recommended. It is during these foundation years that we discover ourselves in the corporate world.
In most cases we are naive and impatient. It is expected because we are not experienced and just want to shoot through the phases of our careers. We are soon humbled and learn to be open-minded about our careers. If we do well as administrators and technical workers we will easily transition into areas of specialization. We are also prepared to become productive functional role players in our various industries.
We must all get our foundation right for the possible various career paths in the future. We get this foundation stages wrong, we suffer the consequences later in our careers. These stages are the base for supervisory, management and leadership roles in the future. This is over and above our academic and corporate development programs.
Many people can confess that their great performance during their foundation administrative, technical and functional years paved their transition into supervisory, management, and leadership roles. The reason is obvious; we all have to earn the trust of our superiors through hard work and great performance in our first jobs. They are the core of any business and therefore highly visible to the leaders. Many companies compete at this level in their sectors.
More than 50% of the curriculum of vocational and corporate academies is at the administrative, technical, specialization, and functional levels. These are the areas that can be verified against the development investment that the business makes. The intellectual capital of companies is entailed at these levels of the knowledge base of the company. The senior management and leadership are rewarded on how good they look after the company talent at these levels. The future of the company is guaranteed by the best talent at these levels. This is what sustains some of the best economies in the world. This does not suggest that supervisory, management and leadership levels are not important. They are. However, the critical mass is at the administrative, technical, specialization and functional levels. If things go wrong here the impact will be huge.
From here onward the development into the future is more of a partnership between the candidates and the management. In most cases that is done together with business schools and the internal corporate academies.
Why do we need mentors then? Each of all these careers has their own dynamics, considering that they play critical role in the enterprise. They are demanding on the people, require different mindset, discipline, behaviours, and characters. Each employee must understand their space in the enterprise and act accordingly. The mentors are there to remind the us that this is a normal growth path other people before them have also been through. Each of these careers leads to somewhere. Postulate that and anticipate the destiny. Perform to the latter and make sure that you succeed in the next level, which is likely to be challenging than the current. The higher you go the less you will depend on your administrative, technical, specialist, and functional expertise.
The mentor will most likely advice you to keep your portfolio of evidence, write a lot about your milestones, etc. You are certainly going to experience a difficulty as you move into management and leadership levels.