23 September 2019

Minor Food x The Standard : Episode 2  Performance drives limitless career opportunity, rather than tenure

How to get promoted? 

This is probably a question that all of us who are working have on our minds. How will I grow in the next 5 years? Is it the right career for me? Do I find it fulfilling? Do I want to be a manager or a specialist? It’s natural for employees to think about how they will manage their own careers, but leaders should be thinking about this for  employees too. Good career management for employees is essential for retaining talent within the organisation, and ultimately for improving the organisation itself.   

To reflect on career path and opportunity, K.Jeed (Patamawalai Ratanapol), Minor Food’s Chief People Officer, shares her experiences surrounding the topic of career advancement. 

What is a career path?

At Minor, we refer to this as “career opportunities” rather than “career path”. We believe that everyone has unlimited opportunities. It’s up to our performance; opportunities for growth and advancement will appear when we reach or exceed our goals. For example, we have one employee who consistently delivers good results, project after project. This makes them shine, and gets them noticed. One employee succeed in delivering many distinctive projects. When opportunity comes knocking, it’s likely to find this employee first.  

Everyone should be growing in a way that suits them, makes them happy, and meets their needs. Don’t chase positions or get stuck in a career that was planned for you by other people. Only you know what’s right for you. 

It’s a real shame that most people in Thailand don’t get to do this at all. Many Thai workplaces are obsessed with educational attainment and degrees. On the other hand, startup culture is much more flexible and adaptable. If something’s not working for them, they can and will change things quickly. 

Retain talent by re-charting the organisation

There is no limit in career opportunity at Minor. We are ready to reconstruct or create new positions in the organisation, in order to retain and bring the best out of the talent within our organisation. Our employees can choose to work in any position, in any of the businesses that Minor has in 64 countries. This is a strong point for us and our employees.

How to discover career opportunities

1. Really understand your role. Look at the job description closely, and ask yourself whether you can do what it asks of you. 

2. Know your strengths. How can you shine within this role?

3. Can you achieve the goals demanded by the role by doing what you do best?

4. If you can answer “yes” to all of the above, then you have found your career opportunity. 

Don’t know how to set a direction for my career

Start by looking at what your leader does. 

Let’s say, for example, that you are the assistant manager for your team, and that eventually you would like to lead that team yourself. 

Pay close attention to how your leader works, look at what they do and how they achieve certain results themselves, or how they get certain results out of the team. Always be on the lookout for assuming some of your leader’s responsibilities yourself. This is how you get ready to be a leader yourself. Demonstrate how ready you are by your performance. When the leadership position opens up in another team, the chances of you being chosen will be high. 

Your leader also has to plan their own succession for when they move on to another opportunity, and they will choose whoever is most ready to assume the role. 

Career wishes: a tool for clarifying uncertain directions

If you’re still unclear about which directions your career opportunities lie in, the key people for you to talk to are your leader and your personnel department. 

At Minor, we allow our employees to makse three wishes for their career at the end of each annual performance assessment. They can write down anything they want; another role, a different department, a higher position, or even a change in career. This allows management and HR to understand each individual’s career goals.

Minor’s annual performance assessment takes into consideration not only the employee’s key performance indicators, but also their career development plan and career wishes. This clarifies where they stand and, and how to get to where they want to be. 

We are actually in an era of transformation. In Minor’s quarterly business review we look at the problems, obstacles and opportunities facing the entire organisation. We take the business review and our employee’s performance assessments, and we compare them side-by-side. We match the right person to the right situation, so that each challenge faced by the business can also be a growth opportunity for our employees. 

There’s more to career opportunities than vertical advancement

Career opportunities can manifest in two dimensions

1. Management

Managers don’t have to be the best at every skill-set required in their purview, but they should have sufficient skills to understand the broad picture of what’s going on in the business and how it relates to their team. In order to form and maintain the best team possible, managers need to understand what is required of each team member.

2. Specialist 

Specialists don’t necessarily have lead any teams. The most important thing for a specialist to advance is to develop a deep understanding and competency within their specialism. They should aim to be the first name on anyone’s mind when thinking of their field. 

Performance over seniority 

Every day is another chance to make a new resolution for your career, not just on New Year’s Day. If you have not envisioned your career trajectory yet, you can start by asking what your passions are. Passion is where your truest goals come from, and the work will follow. Marathon runners, for example, are inspired to train by themselves every day. They are fired by a passion that comes from within. They do not wait to be told to train by a coach, or until they have a training companion. When your work is aligned with your passion, you will be a self-starter who won’t wait for orders to begin your work. Ultimately, your readiness to receive opportunities is not based on how long your tenure, but on your performance today. 

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Credit: The Standard Podcast - The Secret Sauce 


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