Be Empowered to Own your Career

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This time of the year is always a special period in the calendar at Schneider Electric as we recently held our internal ‘Career Days’, one of the many ways we help employees take ownership of their career.

What are Career Days?

We aspire to achieve our company purpose and mission by empowering and developing our people to their fullest potential. We believe that all employees are talented and deserve equitable opportunities for a unique career. Our Career Days put the spotlight on our #SEGreatPeople to take ownership of their development, reflect about their unique career aspirations, get inspired by the careers of others to help, and build sustainable careers they are proud of!

The importance of learning everyday

The future is more dynamic and unpredictable than ever. For companies, it is critical to invest in new skills and sustainable development to support innovation and growth​. It is also critical that we, as employees, think about shaping a sustainable career by developing not only for today but also for tomorrow, enabling us to stay up to date in a constantly changing world. It requires ownership, conscious investment in ourselves, and self-awareness of our strengths, aspirations, and interests.  To make your career sustainable, you need to systematically learn and see progress in your development and challenge yourself to #LearnEveryDay.

Why learning is important to me

When I reflect on my own career over the last 17 years, I see the value of the career and development philosophy of Schneider Electric. When I started my career, I surprised many people by moving out of my core discipline of Counselling Psychology to a completely different space of UX Consulting, Design and Training. Leveraging the consulting skills that I developed in that experience, I reinvented my career some years later by moving into Leadership Consulting, where I had to develop domain expertise from scratch. Together, the knowledge and skills acquired in my previous jobs landed me an opportunity to join Schneider Electric in the Talent Development function. In the decade that I have now spent working here, I have had the privilege of holding talent development roles for India, MEA and Europe before moving into my current global role.

How I own my career

Reflecting on my personal career journey and what I have learned from Schneider Electric about building careers, I’d like to share my perspective on three key areas: 

  1. Be the architect of your own career – make conscious choices based on your interests, aspirations, skills, and abilities. These form the foundation on which you can build experiences, which in turn help you evolve your existing skills and develop new skills. You can get perspectives and advice from many people, but it is important to retain ownership of your career and always make choices that you can confidently call your own.  
  2. Think of both breadth and depth (“T” shape) when cultivating your skills – it is great to have a depth of expertise in at least one domain, where you become a go-to-person for others who need that expertise. At the same time, it is also important to build some breadth of knowledge/skills in adjacent/different domains, which helps you contribute on more complex or interdisciplinary topics and increase your impact. This builds a broader perspective and boosts employability.  
  3. Leverage your network for career conversations – career conversations with your manager(s) and mentor(s) are great to start with. In addition, also ask for the perspectives of other individuals (e.g. peers) whose views you value and trust. Getting more than one view can help you to build a much sharper understanding of your differentiators as well as career avenues/opportunities that you might not have considered before. 

If working in a company that empowers you to grow your career sounds interesting, head to  www.se.com/careers and register to know more about opportunities with us.

About the Author

Vir Dasmahapatra is a passionate talent developer, committed to supporting people to discover and realize their fullest potential. He has an educational background in Applied Psychology and work experience in UX Consulting, Leadership Consulting, Talent Management, and Learning. Having worked in the exciting geographies of India, Middle East & Africa and Europe, Vir is now developing himself as a Global leader in Talent Management & Learning. Beyond the workplace, he is a family-person, musician, foodie and travel enthusiast who loves good joke and meaningful conversations.

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