Change is constant, we hear, and nowhere more so than in the world of work. A few years back the loss of a job was met with severe consternation by the employee and varying degrees of career transition support by an organisation. We now expect to have several career transitions in our working life; we’re told to continue to upskill, so we can remain relevant, and that, Artificial Intelligence will create more jobs than it will eliminate – the roles will be different, and hence, require different skill sets.
We live and work in an age of business disruption and transformation to meet new business demands which means that our ability to learn, grow and adapt becomes ever more crucial – and can make us even more marketable. Today career transition, if embraced correctly, becomes a means to stop, reflect, potentially re-skill or upskill,and then target and plan for the next step in an individual’s career path.
There is no doubt that an organisation providing career transition support signals care for their departing employees as well as signalling to those that remain that the organisation values their people. The impact on employment brand, when individuals feel supported and taken care of is enormous and in sectors where those departing employees may also be customers of the business (e.g.banks, insurance companies, retail etc.) it can have an impact on brand value and even bottom line results. Moreover, a business investing in career transition support for their departing individuals can ultimately enhance the loyalty, productivity and morale of those who remain which in turn can leverage the ability to attract and retain top talent.
Career transition support is also recognised as a critical factor in protecting a company’s brand, performance and profitability and no longer purely a moral or ethical responsibility.
With career transition support, no one size fits all. Some individuals will utilise the support to re-define their career goals, upskill in new areas and change direction or determine their transferable skills while opening a whole new world of employment options. Others may utilise the services to move into self-employment, consultancy, directorships or portfolio careers, or even to look at how to get the most from retirement. Appealing to different, and thus, learning modalities in terms of how someone consumes the information is also key and so group sessions, one to one, online and self-directed learning all have a part to play.
There is a commonly held view that those who are most senior in an organisation should be better equipped to approach the market due to their level of operation. Often these candidates have been propelled through their careers with opportunities presented to them along the way or they have climbed the ladder in one organisation so a clearly defined “go to market strategy” is often daunting for them to craft up themselves. In addition, some have been so focused on the demands of their role that their own networking (the most lucrative channel of job opportunities) has suffered.
Input on market dynamics, highly sought skills and job search expertise is relevant and beneficial no matter what your level in an organisation. Working with a dedicated career coach who helps you focus on your skills, your goals and your gaps has immeasurable benefit to any individual at any level in any sector or industry.
Career transition as a process allows individuals to take the time to stop, re-assess and gain clarity about what “next” looks like. Some individuals have been heard to say that career transition was the best thing to ever happen to them as they would never have explored the space they now operate in! How often would we take the time to reflect where we have been and where we’re going unless we’re forced to? For many people, that’s exactly the gift that transition brings.
The metrics used to measure the effectiveness of career transition usually centre around the time it takes the person to land a new role. Whilst this is the most easily measured there are also the intangible measurements around increased self-confidence with regard to the future when a candidate has a clearly defined plan, a market focused CV or LinkedIn profile, guidelines for productive job search and has practiced interview skills in readiness for that all-important interview. Another yardstick is how outgoing employees speak of the business they are leaving. When departing employees are supported with career transition, whilst they may not have agreed with or liked the decision the business made, they will say they were treated with dignity and respect – the ripple effect of which translates right back inside the organisation to those who remain, once again reinforcing the organisation’s employment brand.
Transformation of the workforce to keep pace with business imperatives is a trend that is here to stay. Assisting people to move on and equipping them with the skills and support to effectively face the market is what differentiates an organisation in the eyes of those who depart ...and those who remain.
For more leadership thinking and insights, visit our resource hub, follow us on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.