5 Tips to Selecting a Career Accountability Partner

February 05, 2015 by Raymond Lee

Selecting a Career Accountability Partner is all about finding a person who will coach and support you in terms of helping you keep your commitment. An accountability partner is generally someone you know well, meet with regularly, and one you can trust to provide transparent and open feedback. This person really cares to ask you how you’re doing and to call you out when we get off track.

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For some people the choice is an obvious. It may be a best friend, a parent, or a sibling. Below are the 5 Tips to Selecting a Career Accountability Partner:

  1. Take personal responsibility of your career

Before you can choose a good accountability partner, you have to know what accountability is all about. Accountability is the ability and willingness to give an account to someone else of your actions.  Accountability is about being open about what you do and why you do it. Your accountability partner’s role is to hold you responsible for achieving the tasks and goals you set for yourself that support you overall career. He or she is not a scapegoat for your faults and short comings. Remember that you must completely own your career plan that includes your decisions, your mistakes, your habits, and your integrity.

  1. Find someone trustworthy

You need to choose a partner who is trustworthy. During the course of your relationship, you may share some private things about yourself. It is important to have a partner that you trust. There is nothing worse than pouring out your heart to someone, just to find that they have violated your trust and shared the information with someone else. You should choose someone that you know will guard your secrets and protect your best interest.

  1. Find someone challenging

Pick someone who will be challenging but not critical. They should be willing to ask you questions. Good accountability partners are not critical and just looking for mistakes and when you mess up, but more like coaches who are challenging you to live with integrity. The best partners take their role seriously and responsibly and they want the best for your career.

  1. Find someone who can meet your schedule requirements

When selecting an accountability partner, you need to determine how often do you want to meet with your career partner? With today’s technology, setting up video conference calls, routine text messaging, and occasional in-person meetings all would be very appropriate ways to interact with your accountability partner. You do need to decide what makes sense given your career goals and timeline.  It’s important to talk with your partner and suggest a regular day and time to talk and ensure commitment from both of you.

  1. Find someone honest

Your accountability partner has to be someone who is honest. You will need someone who is able to challenge you and call you out when you are not doing what you need to be doing. The role of an accountability partner should be two fold, they should be able to collaborate with you on ideas as well show tough love and not let you feel sorry for yourself when things don’t always go as planned. They shouldn’t be afraid to tell you something you don’t want to hear and they should push you to reach your full career potential. An honest approach is the most important approach.

These are a few tips to consider when selecting an accountability partner. Keep in mind that no one is perfect and your partner may not excel in every one of these areas. Once you know what you are looking for, you can then being to talk with those close to you about an accountability relationship.

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

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