Whatever happened to my career plan?
When I left University, I joined the graduate scheme of a large bank. After further interviews and tests, I was given a place on the programme for the top stream of graduate trainees. I still remember the excitement I felt when the letter arrived confirming this.
Shortly after getting this news, I received another letter. I would be mentored by the deputy chief executive of the Bank (let’s call him Mr. Harris) and he wanted to see me at the Bank Head Office.
Mr. Harris’ office was truly magnificent and awe inspiring. Old oak panel walls, expensive paintings from the Bank’s collection and a very valuable antique desk with leather top. Book shelves covered the walls, containing original editions on the history of money, banking law and lending. (I believe the offices are now a Burger King).
‘We need to do your 10-year career plan, Mr Hardy’ said Mr Harris. In front of him he had a piece of paper split into three columns:
- In the first column we would list the job roles I would do over the next 10-years
- In the second column, we would list the banks I would work at (the Bank owned several international banks and overseas experience was the norm)
- In the third column, we would list the countries I would work in.
Mr. Harris and I completed the form. He folded it neatly, placed it in a white envelope and sent it to the Personnel Division.
Sadly, I then forgot about my career plan and it somehow disappeared at Head Office. However, I was delighted when, around five years later, I was moving to a new house and came across a copy in a box:
- Half of the job roles we had listed no longer existed (gone due to rationalisation or centralisation)
- Two of the banks we said I would work at were no longer owned by the Group – sold off or merged
- And, incredibly, one of the countries we said I would work in, no longer existed.
Indeed, even the Bank I worked for had been taken over by a bigger, fitter outfit.
I was recently reading the results of a client’s staff survey. One of the top comments staff made was: ‘I would like to know what my career path is, what will I be doing in the next 5-10 years.’
If I couldn’t do a career plan all those years ago, what chance have we got now?
The American Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that graduates entering the work force now will change jobs 17 times during their careers (yes, 17 times). The days of recruiting someone into a job for life and plotting a career that goes step by step upwards have long gone.
These could be scary times that we are entering. The consensus is that individuals who are prepared and can adapt to the changing environment and learn new skills, will have the best chance to prosper (see, for example, ‘Catch the Wave’ by Deloitte).
In the words of Randall Stephenson, CEO and Chairman of AT&T:
‘If you don’t develop new skills, you won’t be fired but you won’t have much of a career in the future.’
At Sysdoc we have realised that, for the company to prosper and for employees to have the best possible experience, we need to embed a culture of continuous learning. We need to reimagine how we help our staff learn in the most effective way and how we deliver and curate content.
This series of blogs describes how we have gone about this and the lessons learnt.
Other blogs in this series:
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Keeping it on the DL - Guest Speaker LPI Chairman Donald H Taylor
Shall we jump right in? Are L&D teams relevant anymore? Given the steer towards customised, personalised learning do you still need an L&D team. Well, we are walking into this vlog with a bang. It is a crucial question and the elephant in the room that we should all be asking ourselves. LPI Chairman and Guest Speaker for this month’s vlog Donald H Taylor cleverly approaches this question. So, the answer is yes and no. Unfortunately, you cannot measure learning, but most learning takes place outside what L&D does. We live in a world where people can increasingly access information themselves and there are so many options on the market that it is no longer sufficient to just rely on L&D functions. L&D needs to adjust to this new world and as we have experienced previously, they are not the sole gatekeepers to knowledge anymore. However, they can make themselves an essential cog in the machine. The scope of what L&D should be doing has increased and it needs to adapt so it can help individuals reach their potential. Let’s face facts, Covid-19 has given people the time and determination to take up learning on their own. Upskilling was already a huge priority pressing on people’s minds prior to 2020 and as we move to a remote world, online learning is not only essential but the default option.
You know what they say about cyber security…
Cyber security is like underwear: don’t let people see it, change it often and don’t share with strangers. Perhaps an unheard-of joke, but a very common one amongst cyber security professionals and it has been creeping its way into how a company approaches its security. The four words that should describe an organisations cyber defences; ‘efficient, evolving, integrated and necessary.’ There is no shortage of providers advertising that this is what they can supply and companies’ now holding their hands up admitting it is what they need. However, what a company wants, and needs are two very different things, and it is the difference between a multi-million budget spend or some minor but effective internal changes. The thirst for new technology is making organisations even more complex, and at the current rate it is progressing, there is a lot of opinion on the necessity for trendy technology and what will create the perfect formula to ‘streamline, accelerate and strengthen.’
Day 1: Social Housing Annual Conference 2020 and HOMES UK - "A virtual day of inspiration"
Having attended several Social Housing Annual Conferences in my 15 years working in the sector both in Harrogate and in Manchester, this years conference was always going to be different. Getting up this morning and not having to travel was different and then the thought of not being able to catch up and have a coffee and a chat with ex colleagues and friends was always going to be a little different. I need not have worried as Day 1 once again re-affirmed my love for the sector, its people and how Social Housing is making a huge difference to the lives of people across the country.