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Take responsibility for your own career

April 14, 2022
By Philippa Youngman
Take responsibility for your own career

Now that we are truly in a Talent Economy, where in the talent war, talent has won and now has the upper hand in the workforce supply/demand equation, it has caused me to reflect on my own career.

My journey to where I am now was far from conventional and I can’t say it was actually planned. What I am doing now (HR SaaS technology) was not even an option when I first started out, the internet was in its infancy (yes, I am that old!).

I was new into HR when “take charge of your own career” was a way for employers to save money by stopping investing in Learning and Development. Retention was not a priority and buying skills laterally was a way of getting in new talent.

The expectation was that Learning and Development occurred in your own personal time and often at your own personal cost as that was your investment in your future. The options were narrow and not conducive to full-time work. So, a lot of development actually occurred at work, where if you were lucky, you were shoulder-tapped to work in transformational projects as a way of gaining new skills – no such thing as self-registering for such things.

I was incredibly fortunate that a senior colleague (not my boss) spotted an opportunity for me and was in a position where his opinion and recommendation carried some weight.

So now that we have jumped (okay, not really jumped, but quickly moved) to almost the opposite of this, what is it that now has to be done differently?
Well, there are a few things that remain at the cornerstone of Career Development:

  1. Take charge of your own career – you are the person most invested in this
  2. Experiences are just as important as skills and certifications

And there are some things that have changed:

  1. Employers need to be more mindful of creating a true Employee Value Proposition and not just paying lip service to it or using it as a recruitment branding exercise
  2. Use technology where it can create a better experience for your employees than an actual person. A good example of this, is using an AI/ML technology platform like ours where it is easy to serve up to employees directly, career options within your organisation that suit a person’s skill set or aspirations and build a personalised learning experience that goes beyond upskilling for their current role
  3. If ‘self-drive’ is the expectation, then employers must curate learning content that makes it easy for employees to gain new skills
  4. Transformational projects need to be treated as an internal job opportunity first, seeking external skills to augment internal talent as a second option. Create the platform for your employees to self-register interest
  5. Creating work around a selection of skills, competencies and experience, rather than a job being a collection of tasks and outcomes is the new way of work

In summary, employers need to create an environment where employees can explore their career within your organisation rather than outside it. If change is coming resulting in skill redundancy, redirect people using curated career path options rather than losing loyal employees with organisational knowledge.

If it is your dream to create such an environment in your organisation, we are here to help you. We at PeopleStrong have helped 500+ leading organisations across APAC to create an ecosystem that not just fosters their Talent Economy but also integrates with their Learning, Recruitment, Performance Management and Employee Engagement processes.

Curious to know more?

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