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How to adapt and grow for careers of tomorrow


Part 2 of 2

Even in the current disrupted career landscape, if you put the right support in place, individuals can be equipped to adapt and grow. It’s a combination of building confidence, capacity and future-proofing career skills that make a difference.

In part 1 I focussed on resilience, and here I’ll share insight to help you nurture the skills and culture you need for adaptability and transformation.


Career adaptability has been required for some time, as it has become harder for individuals to have a line of sight about clear career pathways. The ‘Chaos Theory of Careers’ has never been more relevant as we navigate unpredictability, complexity,  and uncertainty. The pandemic has accelerated some of the technological trends and disruption that were already impacting organisations. Overnight people have risen to the challenge, with organisations and individuals demonstrating huge levels of adaptability, releasing potential. If individuals recognise the adaptability and learning they have gained during the pandemic it will continue to help organisations build on their capability and motivation.


Individual actions Organisational Support
  • Reflect on your learning during the pandemic, what new skills have you gained? What have you felt proud about in what you have achieved?
  • Ask yourself, what new insights have you gained about how you like to work and what brings you career satisfaction?
  • Recognise any barriers you’ve had to overcome and how you have done it
  • Identify areas where you’d like to continue to grow and learn
  • Recognise the ways employees have stepped up and performed differently and how that might unleash future potential e.g. share employee stories
  • Identify the organisation learning that has arisen during the pandemic and take forward the practices that have worked and are valued by employees e.g. remote working, agile teams
  • Managers should facilitate team and individual learning recognising how employees have adapted and performed, unlocking what had been hidden potential



The future continues to be shaped as organisations evolve their business models, some are contracting, others expanding, others transforming. Individuals need the skills and confidence to navigate the future and their own career, not only to secure their own financial security, but to build career satisfaction and purpose. This is no different to good career development, which helps ensure you build capability, retain and engage your employees, whilst building a culture that supports self-driven career journeys.


Individual actions Organisational Support
  • Recognise your role as an agent in your own career journey and that you can influence the future, even if it looks challenging
  • Foster a ‘growth mindset’ that is curious about learning, understanding future trends and changes affecting your organisation or sector
  • Develop the skills to manage your own career-‘7 Future Proofing Skills’
  • Seek out conversations with peers, mentors, managers, where you can. Explore future career scenarios, skills needed and options to career re-invention if you need to change career direction
  • Be prepared to communicate and advocate what you can offer, how you add value and what makes you distinctive
  • Share a vision and direction for the organisation that helps employees connect with a renewed purpose
  • Communicate the overall career proposition; what sort of careers are possible?
  • Share information about the skills and capabilities needed for the future and how employees can develop their experiences
  • Encourage a focus on career conversations that help align employee’s career aspirations with career options across the organisation

All my experience tells me that finding ways to build people’s agency does make a difference, and we have the data to back it up. Over 4,000 individuals globally have taken part in our ‘Be Bold in Your Career’ online career coaching programme, including 900 at the peak of lockdown. The programme takes people though a guided career reflection process led by career experts, with its combination of resources and interactive live learning sessions. It equips individuals to take actions that support their career development, in particular building relationships and initiating career conversations.

It’s grounded in 7 future proofing skills, giving people the tools to navigate their career. 90% of participants initiated new conversations to take their career forward, and key outcomes are linked to people feeling more confident about their future career direction.

I have certainly become bolder. I asked for more challenging work, took on an additional project which went to our Board. I have accepted an invite to participate in a group which is meant for a higher level, I have spoken out at meetings where normally I would lack confidence.  I find myself looking at people differently thinking now they don't necessarily know more than me

The programme has also been evaluated externally looking at the extent to which career development support impacts on productivity, a key concern as we come out of lockdown.

Whilst the future looks uncertain and precarious for individuals and organisations alike, finding ways to direct and influence the future is vitally important. Putting career development at the centre of a people strategy is both a key enabler and the right thing to do.

Help your people strengthen their resilience, adaptability and transformation with the Be Bold in Your Career programme.

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