Career Planning with Engineers

General process to aid career planning sessions with Engineers


The purpose of this document is to share general approach into software engineers career plan as a way off adding transparency and common ground for engineers and managers.

Our approach:

Career plan is split into 4 different phases:

A-Reflect: Thinking about what you really want and the environment.

B-Research: Study and get data that assists on getting where you want.

C-Plan: Planning the actual steps to get there.

D-Act: Working on make your career aspirations come to life.

The engineer is responsible for all these phases and activities related to those.

The manager should act a facilitator providing guidance on steps, context on Rockect.Chat and giving relevant feedback. It is expected that the manager will set 2 meetings and drive the conversation on steps mentioned below.

1st meeting steps:

1-Manager should set 1 hour duration meeting as career plan part 1 and place following items on agenda:

โ€œNotice career plan is split in 4 phases: Reflect, Research, Plan, Act.

A-How do you define success?

B-What is your main career goal?

C-What are the problems you solve today?

D-Work on a personal SWOT Matrix

E-Next Stepsโ€

2-During the meeting start by sharing message: โ€œNotice career plan is split in 4 phases: Reflect, Research, Plan, Act. Today we are covering some points of reflection that will be the key for any future steps.โ€

3-Manager should go over questions A and B and make sure to use active listening. Do NOT assume anything! Make sure you get a clear understanding of where the person wants to go & why + have their own words about goals and aspirations.

4-Go over question C and see if itโ€™s aligned in any way to persons goal or at a very high level, how it might be connected. PS: Might be a good time to get alignment on value being brought by the person.

5-Now itโ€™s time to work on Personal SWOT Matrix. Recommend starting with internal factors (Strengths and Weakness) and later move to external factors (Opportunities and Threats).

PS: Donโ€™t worry if matrix is not fully complete by the end of the meeting. Person should complete and have it available for next meeting.

6-End the meeting here and let time to reflect. Manager should share RC career guidelines and relevant resources that can help the engineer prior to next meeting (i.e. articles, books, people to talk with, handbook pages, etc). Engineer should search for skills and further details on career objectives as well as complete the SWOT matrix.

2nd meeting steps:

7- Manager should set up a new 1-hour meeting with engineer and place on agenda:

โ€œNotice career plan is split in 4 phases: Reflect, Research, Plan, Act.

F-Review Objective and SWOT

G-Skills and gaps

H-How will we follow upโ€

8-Make sure to revisit engineer objective and personal SWOT details to be aligned on career aspirations.

9-List all relevant skills on a spreadsheet and get a column with current level and another with expected level career goal for engineer that you will be working. Have honest open discussion here.

10-Prioritize up to 3 skills that engineer will be focusing during the next evaluation period and together with engineer build actions to cover them. PS: Manager should help sharing context on RC product roadmap, projects, people, and other resources that can aid on engineer objectives.

11-Get agreement on how progress will be monitored and how items will be documented on RC-IDP (Individual Development Plan)

12-Manager should also reserve some time for any additional questions from engineer and if nothing else meeting can be closed here.

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