Straight Talking: The Nature of Effective Career Discussion at Work

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Abstract

Many employees need help from others in managing their careers, and it is likely that much of this help will be given in the context of a face-to-face discussion, either in a formal setting or more informally. Drawing on the accounts of 104 UK employees who had participated in helpful career discussions, this paper examines with whom and in what settings effective career discussions took place, and the skills and personal qualities displayed by givers and receivers of support. A wide range of individuals provided this form of support. The most important skills and qualities shown by givers of support were: the personal qualities of interest, commitment and trustworthiness challenging and facilitative skills giving honest feedback and providing information.

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