Writing the Future at Adobe

Each day, we write the futures of our own careers.  But as we do, it’s important to keep growth potential in mind, which is a critical consideration when calculating the right employment fit.

Here are three important questions Adobe focuses on to define career growth, as well as questions you need to ask yourself to determine if an organization is growth-ready:

How receptive is the organization to new ideas and creativity?

  • Why it matters: Curiosity needs to be an organizational mantra. You can’t move fast, decide fast or learn fast if you’re not receptive to new ideas and course correcting in real time. The org and its employees should be iterating all the time, which is driven by asking better questions and fueled by an insatiable curiosity.
  • How Adobe addresses it: Here at Adobe, employees have opportunities to think like  entrepreneurs in an environment where innovation is welcomed.  Some ideas stick, some don’t, but all ideas are encouraged.
  • Ask yourself:  What’s something creative or innovative you or your team has done in the past month? Where did the idea come from? Where’s it going now?

How is teaching supported?

  • Why it matters: Having smart, inspiring and bright people who can’t teach isn’t scalable to a growing organization. What good is expertise if it isn’t shared, if it can’t be transferred? Knowledge delegation is a critical organizational skill and teaching helps enable it.
  • How Adobe addresses it: Our Leaders Teaching Leaders model regularly puts our best experts, managers and leaders in visible teaching roles in our most impactful development programs.
  • Ask yourself: How are your smartest people in your organization teaching what they know, how often, and through what venues?

Are managers walking the walk?

  • Why it matters: A critical part of a manager’s role is to help you articulate your career aspirations and work with you to chart a course. You’ll get a good sense of how important growth is by how frequently managers are (or are not) having career conversations with their employees.
  • How Adobe addresses it: The best managers spend time with employees in one-on-one meetings – in person or virtually – and ask, “What do you need from me?” At Adobe our Management Essentials program is designed to give managers the skills they need to get the best out of their teams.
  • Ask yourself: How is your employer developing managers?

It’s important to keep a fluid mindset when you think about your career growth.  Don’t get too attached to one idea or path; instead, revisit your dreams regularly and recalibrate them against your growing experience. Then, draft a new vision for where you’re headed. You have to learn to adapt and to recognize opportunities you may not have planned for. There are many paths but only one is the most critical.  Looking forward, you have infinite possibilities, while looking back you see the one path you’ve taken to get where you are.

The future is unwritten, so go write it! I’m writing mine now at Adobe.

Contributed by Justin M., Learning, Technology and Design Manager