5 Tips for Kicking Your Career Development into High Gear in 2017

The New Year is prime time for evaluating your goals and mapping out a plan to achieve them. While career development is something to think about year-round, January’s fresh start gives us the opportunity to stop and think about ways to maximize our individual potential.

Coast to Coast talked with Brian Duffy, SVP of Talent, Organizational Development, and Stores Human Resources, to learn a little bit about his career path and get his top 5 development resolutions that anyone can make to better their career in 2017.

You’ve been with the organization for 27 years and have held a range of positions in our Stores and Human Resources organizations. Can you tell us about your career path and how you got where you are today?

I started on the selling floor at our Oxmoor location in Louisville before moving into Human Resources. After spending time in the Lazarus central offices, I went back to Stores as a HR manager. I then moved into Store Operations, which was an important part of what shaped my thinking about career moves. Over the course of many years, I had the opportunity to gain experiences in many Human Resources areas such as College Recruiting, Learning and Development, Associate Relations, and Talent Development. In 2009, I made the move to New York to work in HR with our Marketing, Macys.com and Merchandising and Planning teams. I began leading the Stores HR function almost two years ago, which took me back to where I started.

In 2016, I began leading the Talent Center of Expertise (CoE), which is where I am today. The CoE team is focused on developing strategies to help each business function at Macy’s and Bloomingdales achieve their business outcomes. The CoE stays current on new and emerging trends in learning, talent acquisition, and leadership development and works with the HR teams in each function to incorporate what matters the most.

What is the best piece of advice you have received that has helped you develop your career?

Put yourself out there and try jobs that stretch you beyond what you believe is possible. At times, we limit ourselves because we are afraid to make a mistake, but mistakes are often the best way to learn. Own them, share them so others can learn too, and then move on.

In your opinion, what are some characteristics that are important to being successful at Macy’s?

Be authentic, be bold in your convictions, and be open to taking a risk. “Let Go” was a part of our mantra in 2016 and it’s as important as ever. I believe when we stick with what is familiar, we limit ourselves from stretching and growing.

During times of organizational change, what kind of opportunities are there for us to continue to grow and develop our careers?

Periods of organizational change are tough and can be distracting for many of us. As we work towards the desired outcome of a leaner organization where we can move faster and take more risks, we all have new opportunities for personal growth. I would encourage you to share your bold thinking with those around you, be an idea generator on ways to fix what isn’t working, and make yourself available to help others who may be struggling. These are leadership behaviors that are greatly valued, will be noticed by others, and will prepare you for growth.

5 Career Development Resolutions for 2017