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Step 5: Having a Career Conversation with Your Supervisor

Career Toolbox

Having a career conversation with your supervisor is the fifth step in the TSA Career Planning Process. Supervisors are expected to hold an official career conversation with their employees every year. The timing of this career discussion will depend on procedures within your unit. This is a new requirement for both employees and supervisors. By completing the activities described in the first four steps of this guide, you will be well prepared for this discussion

During the career discussion, you will:

  • Provide an honest assessment of your current competencies and interests as they relate to your satisfaction in your current position and your short- and long-term career goals;
  • Discuss your career goal(s), the competencies you want to develop, desired outcomes, and developmental activities that you would like to pursue in the coming months;
  • Be prepared to discuss the mission relevance and cost of any development activities that you would like TSA to support;
  • Be open to alternative suggestions from your supervisor on helpful developmental activities;
  • Incorporate suggestions that you and your supervisor have agreed on into your final career plan;
  • Obtain your supervisor's signature. (You'll keep the original copy and give a copy to your supervisor); and,
  • Participate in follow-up meetings as needed.

During the career discussion, your supervisor will:

  • Listen to your career goals and your assessment of the competencies that you would like to develop;
  • Provide honest constructive feedback about any competencies that s/he wants you to focus on developing in your current position;
  • Look at both your OLC Development Plan and your paper TSA Career Plan and help identify additional learning activities that will meet your needs and the needs of the agency;
  • Discuss time and budget constraints that could impact on your unit being able to support development activities that have a cost in terms of on-the-job time or general training dollars. During this discussion, you and your supervisor are trying to reach a consensus on realistic development activities that would be to TSA's benefit to support. Some activities could be beneficial but they may be too costly for your unit;
  • Sign your Career Plan once any agreed upon adjustments have been made.
  • Submit a copy of your signed Career Plan to your Training Coordinator (only in units where this is required) for consideration; and
  • Schedule follow-up meetings as needed.

Once you have your supervisor's signature on your Career Plan and you have given a copy of your signed Career Plan to your supervisor, you are ready for Step 6: Following Up or return to the TSA Career Planning Guide Table of Contents.

Latest revision: 29 November 2012