My inbox is full of articles and media commentary about the ‘great workforce resignation’. Furthermore, the ‘evolving workplace’. But interestingly, very little has been written about how to coach team members around their careers. Importantly, having career conversations in the context of the changing workplace.
Thankfully, we can tap into the amazing Open Door Alumni. To get some key insights from experts. Better still we can talk to a person who has recently authored a book on the topic!
At our Coaching Café we welcome Veronica Millen, an Open Door Alumni, to discuss her new book ‘Career Agility’. Veronica brings nearly 20 years of HR experience. Particularly in career coaching. And she completed the Certificate IV in Workplace and Business Coaching back in 2010. So she’s been professional coaching for over 12 years.
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What is the great resignation?
The media is full of commentary of people resigning from their jobs, as an outcome of the global pandemic. Among other lessons, Veronica says that people realised that working from home and work flexibility is important. And if a company cannot provide this, then employees will go elsewhere.
However, rather than talking about the ‘great resignation’ Veronica gives us a brilliant reframe. It is a ‘great re-alignment’.
What is the ‘great re-alignment’?
Not everyone is resigning. However, a lot of people are thinking about re-alignedment. Particularly, what’s most important to me? and what do I want in my role? This has led to reflections and discussions about re-aligning work with what I really need. Particularly as we come out of extensive lockdowns and employers are encouraging return to the office face-to-face.
Doing the archaeological dig
Veronica offers a great metaphor for the great re-alignment and that is to think about the archaeological dig. To go digging back into our careers to think about when we were most happy? What were we doing that energises us? And when did we experience most enjoyment at work? It is digging into our careers that we find the answers that might move us forward. And as I mentioned, it might mean we have to cover some old dirt and ruins to see treasure that is buried underneath.
What is career agility?
Veronica introduces the term career agility. You might have heard of the project management methodology Agile. Often used in large corporations. The concept of career agility is not strictly based on Agile. But rather the overarching agile management idea of ‘survival through flexibility. So, this means we need to be agile in our career. To think about our future and to be prepared for change and be flexible. Interestingly, is not applicable only to people who are thinking about changing jobs. It is about reflecting on our career and reflecting on how we can bring agility to our current situation. It is a reflection project that we might be able to do, say, over 3 to 6 months for example.
The career ‘sweet spot’
How do you remain in your career ‘sweet spot’ as the world of work changes and evolves? That’s the question that is answered in Veronica’s book. And it all has to do with exploring the intersect of skills, needs and interests. Importantly, this exploration can help you find your career sweet spot. Without a doubt, the great range of exercises in the Book help us explore each of those dimensions.
Career expertise all in the one spot
It is such a great opportunity to pick Veronica’s expert brain around coaching and career conversations. And her book Career Agility puts all this expertise into the one spot.
For me, Career Agility reminds me of one of my all-time favourite books on career coaching called What Colour is Your Parachute by Richard N. Nolles with Katherine Brooks. I think Career Agility is the modern parachute.
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