Capitalising on available resources, identifying the right opportunities and making good decisions are the cornerstones of successful career transitions. Approaching this time in a structured manner can make a real and tangible difference, as can understanding the full range of available assistance.
Our recent article took a detailed look at the strong body of research that underpins PeopleScape’s career transition programs, and in this post we share our approach and how we put theory into practice to help our clients make their next successful career move.
A well-executed career transition should be marked more for its ability to set the individual up for longer-term success rather than just to land the next role.
Each year, more than 375000 Australians undergo a career transition due to either restructure or retrenchment (ABS, 2013). Those in transition should aim to make the most of this time – to ‘do career transition well’, yet a considerable number of people do not know or understand what they should do at this time. Others may know the key components but do not execute them well. This results in wasted time and opportunities, and can lead to depleted wellbeing and sub-optimal outcomes. It can therefore be enormously helpful to understand what resources and assistance are available to help.
We advocate a research based approach to all our services, including career transition. Our team’s background training in the areas of psychology and organisational behaviour informs our practice and we strongly believe that research and empirical evidence should be foundational to professional service provision in the area of career transitioning. Ultimately this depth in our offerings translates to greater confidence and a greater success rate to those with whom we work.
Our approach and career transition philosophy applies thought leadership from six areas of organisational, leadership and personal development, integrating both established and new research across all the six identified career disciplines.
Our Career Transition Circumplex model is unique in that it links a wide body of innovative research coupled with executive career development, across the six career disciplines.
Research, experience and feedback reveals that the challenges individuals face in transition require solutions that are dynamic, complex and varied. We strongly encourage the people we see to use their time in transition to review and address all the six career disciplines.
Wellbeing is defined as an individual’s state of experiencing “positive feelings and functioning”. At the core of wellbeing is the concept that an individual can have a positive impact over the way they think and feel rather than be reactive to their environment.
Most people enter career transition due to a redundancy or circumstances outside their control. There may be financial concerns or perhaps there is a need to adapt to the loss of identity and an upheaval of daily routines. These changes often impact the individual’s mental health.
Previously extremely busy people can all of a sudden have too much time. And it can be incorrectly assumed that the more senior the individual, the more resilient they are.
PeopleScape’s Positive Behaviour Change Framework adds considerable value at this time and is often used with an extensive Wellbeing Tool Kit that can be tailored for individual needs.
We partner with specialist organisations such as corporate stylists and financial advisors to provide further specific expertise, creating a wellbeing plan that helps the person take control and move from survival mode towards flourishing. We are able to assist people to change unhelpful habits, and to embrace the benefits through the ups and downs experienced in transition and after landing a new role.
Insight is the process of reflecting on the components that make us who we are. It is a review of experiences, knowledge, skills, behaviours, personalities, needs, values, motivations and aspirations
that govern our decisions and the way we interact with others. Developing deeper career insights is a key component of the boundaryless mindset and the Protean career. For those who haven’t already done so, we strongly recommend reading more about the helpful and important areas of mindset research which are a core underpinning of PeopleScape’s approach. A good place to start is our article entitled, ‘Successful career transitions: what we know based on current research’.
In order to facilitate and assist our clients in developing their career insights, PeopleScape employs a combination of own proprietary assessments and a broad selection of third party tools that are only accessible to qualified practitioners. Their application is carefully tailored on an individual basis.
Our depth of psychological expertise allows us to examine and analyse the results of any previous assessment tools undertaken, and assimilate them into the transition program, focusing on what the individual can do with all the information (the ‘so-what’ factor), rather than the tests themselves.
The ultimate outcome provides people with greater clarity, direction and confidence, helping facilitate the development of meaningful and applicable career insights.
In the context of career transition, our approach to leadership focuses on assessing leadership competency and style, identifying development needs and coaching our clients to successfully develop competencies and behaviours. Individuals benefit from exposure to the latest leadership assessment practices including development centres and psychometric tools which incorporate our proprietary competency framework.
Strength identification is used to develop insight into ways clients can effectively market their leadership competencies. For those who have not experienced rigorous assessments in the past (including many CEO’s), this also provides an opportunity for a ‘test run’ prior to any recruitment testing requirements.
The results guide the creation of development plans that individuals can implement during their transition. There are obvious competencies to build such as networking, and there are more subtle competencies such as being able to encapsulate and articulate a vision, influence and persuade stakeholders and build strategic insight.
Often our clients are able to capitalise on their greater time availability when between roles, in order to bolster their leadership skills. This may include exploring the latest leadership trends, gaining knowledge and insights around current industry issues or completing short courses to supplement knowledge gaps.
The desire to find purpose and meaning is a core human motivator, and careers can play a significant part in this.
Career purpose can be difficult to articulate, with many people falling back on career titles, such as lawyer, accountant or teacher. As they progress from a more junior, technical role to a more senior role involving management and leadership, many people fail to realign their career identity with these changes, continuing to see themselves purely as functional experts. This stifles their ability to think laterally about what they truly offer an organisation and how they can fulfil their own purpose.
A strong career strategy defines an individual’s purpose and provides a career roadmap.
PeopleScape’s work with career strategy and direction focuses on identifying and articulating a person’s career purpose, their vision and aspirations. We employ a variety of tools and methodologies, combined with coaching and mentoring, to empower and support people to find their own unique career purpose and meaning.
Based on this foundation, we assist our clients to develop a series of strategic actions, thereby planning the movement from what an individual has done in the past, to what they want to do going forward.
Most people in transition require a multi-pronged strategy that provides the motivation to explore the various options whilst at the same time prioritising and nurturing the right opportunities that fit their career strategy and have the highest likelihood of success.
With PeopleScape’s assistance, our clients undertake pro-active career planning combined with structured processes and outputs that engender confidence and a far greater sense of control. We are then able to guide people as they develop and implement their long term career strategy and direction.
In order to successfully marketing themselves, people require the ability to succinctly communicate the connection of their past with another person’s desired future via the various traditional and new media channels to the market. Here, success is not determined by individuals’ internal sets of skills, motivations, and interests but, rather, by how effectively they are arranged, crystallised, and labelled—in other words, branded.
PeopleScape’s expertise in working with organisations to define talent gives us a breadth of insight into the competencies and behaviours which are sought by organisations. When this is coupled with our psychological and career assessment capabilities, we are able to help an individual to understand the landscape in which they are competing and to define what unique proposition they are offering the market.
PeopleScape’s approach to personal branding includes guidance through an important process of defining and formulating key brand messages. These need to be set early and should be conveyed through all job search marketing channels. We then work with individuals as they apply their personal brand across a range of useful contexts. Social marketing, copyrighting, body language and story-telling should all align and combine to create a concise and disciplined message to the market. The message is one of the future – not only ‘what I have done’, but ‘what I can do’.
Almost 80% of jobs are found through networks, so the effective use of networks to source and manage opportunities is a key ingredient to success, particularly for those seeking more senior roles. Yet not all individuals commence a career transition with a strong and current network in place. Some may not have been diligent in maintaining their networks due to the time constraints. Alternatively the reason may be a lack of understanding of the potential benefits of networking.
PeopleScape guides and shows our clients how to reach out, organise, manage and follow up the right contacts and meetings – all essential components of successful opportunity sourcing. Where appropriate, we are able to open our vast networks to clients in order to boost and create more potential opportunities.
Sourcing opportunities and managing them to completion requires individuals to pro-actively build trust and confidence. It requires energy, resources and discipline and should be a continual focus, not just occurring at a time of transition. Additionally, it requires an understanding of the ‘law of reciprocity’ which dictates that those in transition need to research and understand the other persons’ motivations before any meeting. To network well, an individual must put themselves in the other person’s shoes and bear in mind the time it takes to make hiring decisions within organisations.
PeopleScape’s experienced consultants provide practical guidance, tools, emotional support and motivational assistance needed to maintain the structured and discipline approach that results in a successful job outcome.
A flexible approach should be taken when applying the Circumplex to one person’s individual career transition. The process is not linear. There is not a ‘right place’ to start. And the focus across the six career disciplines will vary for each person. The process should always follow the needs of the individual and should always be iterative.
At PeopleScape the individual is placed at the centre, with the focus of our programs being to provide greater awareness, deeper insights and concrete options.
The PeopleScape team are committed to our Career Transition Circumplex because we know how valuable these six career disciplines are for those at a time of change, providing greater clarity and direction, greater confidence and allowing individuals to uncover the full range of available options.
We passionately believe that a time of career transition provides positive, meaningful and valuable space for career development, where people can refocus, review, refine and sometimes redefine their career goals.