Helping a co-worker to think about their future

It is sometimes difficult for a co-worker to imagine his professional future, to define a project for his development. How can the manager help him to draw up a sketch of a possible future without falling into the tyranny of "a project at all costs"?
Abolish the "you must"
A vision of the future cannot be decreed. It is not enough to say "you need to think about it" in order for ideas and desire to burst forth.
It is better on the contrary to downplay the difficulties your-co-worker may have in projecting himself forward and to reassure him: no one is asking him to lay out a 10-year career plan or to identify definitively a new job for himself!       
Proceed from the present       
The first manifestations of the future are sometimes right in front of our eyes. It's then a question of helping the co-worker to perceive and to understand them: what things in your current position are already in the process of evolving? What has changed in your job over the past few years and what still might change, perhaps inconspicuously? What knowledge or skills would be even more useful a few months or years from now? ... etc.       
Envision a first step toward preparing the future
The preceding questions generally allow the identification of vectors to work on to maintain or reinforce one's employability.
The actions to undertake might be of various natures: researching information on a profession, a market, or on certain practices; enriching one's current position, especially by cross-sector activities, receiving training...
The aim is to develop an education in adaptability.       
Each question has only one correct response, but be careful: among the possible responses there is one that is "almost correct" and might make the choice harder!
1 / 3   A collaborator doesn't have any plans
Elliot tells you: " I've been in the same position for the past 25 years, what else do you want me to do? ".What do you say to him?
You can do many other things ...what would you be interested in?
This answer could make Elliot think he has no other option than to change! There is a risk he closes up.
The aim is not necessarily that you change, but that you reflect on what is needed in order to stay competent, or to adapt, for future needs.
You open the conversation on the possible opportunities of the job and the skills needed for this position.
I am asking you the question because it is at the heart of the professional review, but if you don't wish to do something else, that's fine, I will just note it down.
You give up too quickly. Delving into, questioning the collaborator's response could help identify some areas of development in his current position.
These days, we expect employees to take responsibility for their career. It is important to look towards the future.
You are warning Elliot, showing him he is not "as he should be". It would be better to help him to reflect.
2 / 3   The question of employability
Should you talk about employability to Elliot?
Yes,Elliot should know he won't stay in the same job all his life.
The purpose is not to scare him! Just to make him reflect on how he should manage his career.
No, this is a word which will scare Elliot and it isn't the manager's role to prepare him for the changes.
On the contrary, speaking with an open mind of the possible opportunities is part of the relationship manager-collaborator and causes less anxiety than things unsaid.
Yes, this is a subject which concerns him, as it does all of us. But you must help him reflect on what it specifically means to him.
Absolutely, the objective is to demystify the term and to address it as a topic of debate, just like the others.
3 / 3   Having a project by any means?
Zoe tells you "you never know what the future holds; I prefer not to have projects but to adapt» What do you say to him?
Absolutely, but times change and professional life is more and more demanding. You can't always act as you did in the past. I would rather help you reflect.
The remark will cause anxiety and the help offered is too premature
Of course and I guess you have always managed this way. The word project may give the impression that we absolutely want to look far into the future ...but you can look ahead short term. Do you already have any ideas on what you will soon have to adapt?
You reassure Zoe: it is her right not to have project! And you open the conversation by steering him towards the short term. If she doesn't' have any specific ideas, then insisting would be counter-productive.
But this could be seen as not being proactive which could possibly be held against you...
This is judgmental! Zoe can only defend and justify herself.
Of course, it is difficult to look towards the future, how can I help you?
Too early. The collaborator doesn't see the benefit of looking ahead, you can't help him.  
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