Career Planning: It's a Joint Effort

By Mike Moore, Director of Training, HVAC Learning Solutions

What would you say to this standard interview question: Where do you see yourself in five years? Furthermore, could your employer forecast your career path one year out, three, five? Learn how to talk to each other to find out the answers together - and to make career planning a priority.

It just takes a little intentional interaction between workers and bosses to develop short- and long-term goals on a career path and to determine what that path will be. Whether you're a Comfort Advisor, technician, or a dealer who wants to invest time in your team, here's how, together, you can get beyond the workday grind to forecast a future within your profession.

Get to know each other. From day one, employers have a duty to develop real relationships with their employees - to find out what motivates them, what strengths they have, and which areas they should develop. Likewise, employees can help by sharing what interests them most about their job, skills they'd like to learn, and their aspirations.

Seek mentoring relationships. Pairing the right senior and junior employees in a mentoring relationship can create a two-way street to success. The less experienced worker can learn a few things, while the mentor gains a stronger team member and feels the rewards to giving back.

Understand the possibilities. Career planning starts with having a good organization chart for your company. Employers should create one and make it widely available so team members can consult it to understand next steps.

Develop hard and soft skills. Sure, employees must learn how to perform their job day-to-day and take advantage of any special project opportunities to grow their skill sets. But intangibles often help people get tapped for new roles or awarded with more responsibility. Management notices traits like a positive attitude, integrity, and the ability to handle change - and often reward them.

Take advantage of online learning opportunities. HVAC Learning Solutions has lots of electronic-learning courses employees can take from the workplace or at home, including some related to career growth. (Visit to see options under the Online Learning tab, including the Business Coaching series.)

Assess career growth. At least once a year, employee and employer should sit down to discuss the long-term plan. A quarterly check-in can help gauge ongoing performance and give workers a chance to share progress and any new goals.

Whether you're looking to propel your own career or enrich the career path and training opportunities for your employees - HVAC Learning Solutions has learning paths for all of the varying needs of your organization. Visit today for more information.

I give daily advice for HVAC dealers, technicians and comfort advisors on my Facebook, Twitter, and Google + channels. Join the conversation today!

Still Hungry?

More Information, Training, and Tips