Career Development Groups
What’s the issue?
For many people working in the Digital Creative and Tech (DCT) sector it’s really hard to get the advice or help needed – especially from colleagues, managers or even owners. Sometimes people feel anxious admitting they don’t understand something – or no one else understands their area of specialism – or even nobody is available (or able) to give the right answers.
It turns out – to get the most out of a job – people want to talk to other people doing similar jobs**, because they understand the challenges and fixes in a way no one else can – as they’re doing the same thing. But this isn’t possible if you’re the only person in your company with that job function.
How do Groups work?
Each Career Development Group brings between 5 to 7 people together for a 1.5hr discussion about their work, hosted by an independent facilitator. Each group meets six times, once a month, over six months. Group members are assembled to include people in similar roles, similar sectors, facing similar challenges.
The facilitator will have relevant skills in the group’s subject area and will be a little more senior than the group’s core composition. The facilitator will be responsible for shaping the agenda – based on the group’s instructions; steering the conversation; making sure everyone has a chance to talk; and offering the benefit of their own experience as and when it’s valid. The principal focus, however, is to allow the group members to discuss their own challenges so they can offer support to each other and share ideas of how to improve their work processes.
All group members will come from different companies and the facilitator will not be aligned to any member’s companies either – to support free-flowing conversation.
Where’s the value?
At 75%, the DCT sector has one of the highest levels of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ of any industry. We have a workforce racked by doubt and worry about what they’re doing.
These are some examples:
- A software company has one designer – who does she turn to for advice when not even her boss understands design?
- A project manager is struggling to cope with workload management but doesn’t want to admit this perceived weakness to his boss – how does he learn better coping strategies.
- A Design brand agency has one marketing manager – who does she turn to for advice on how to be a better marketer?
After six months, group members have experienced 6 in-depth sessions. It’s plenty of time to build confidence and introduce new ideas into a job. The groups then get disbanded – to avoid the members getting stuck in the same clique – but they’ll have built some fantastic knowledge in that time and can sign up for a new group straight away.
The group format is in beta currently and fully launches in 2020
** based on in-depth interviews with 30 people in DCT sector from junior manager level to founders, 2019. The group format has been co-designed with these participants.