Current workplace changes are unparalleled, with new challenges emerging rapidly every day. Whether we’re in an economic boom or a recession era, where the employee–employee power balance shifts accordingly, changes happen regardless of leaders’ preparation for them. Therefore, leaders should ask themselves “How can I help talents thrive during this time?” The traditional business model with linear career ladders has become outdated and less effective. Managers should focus on creating portfolios for their employees, allowing them to curate their careers and align their individual goals with the business’s strategic objectives. As a result, this shift will help enterprises adapt to an uncertain future while allowing employees to achieve their full potential. It’s time to switch from career ladders to career portfolios. So, let’s dive in!
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From ladders to portfolios: the new career path
Squiggly careers are becoming increasingly popular as people realize that the traditional linear career path isn’t always the best option. Authors Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis describe these squiggly careers as non-linear paths that are “full of uncertainty and possibility.” Squiggly careers offer a lot of benefits, but they can also be messy. This is where human resources (HR) leaders often feel nervous. They’re concerned that introducing new career models would push people to reconsider too much and eventually leave.
A career portfolio approach solves these problems by providing a framework for employees to chart their career course and align it with the company’s goals. This model also gives employers more control over succession planning and talent management.
What is a career portfolio?
A career portfolio is a curated selection of an individual’s skills, experiences, and accomplishments. It demonstrates one’s value to potential employers and can be used as a tool for self-reflection and career planning.
This portfolio concept was first introduced in the early 1990s by the organizational behaviorist Charles Handy who focused on the need to develop portable skill sets to succeed in a fast-changing workplace. Since then, portfolios have sometimes been associated with freelance work and having multiple roles at once. That is one kind of portfolio but not the only one, and HR leaders should consider other possibilities.
Why should you make the switch? Here are three reasons:
1. Greater flexibility
Traditional career ladders can be inflexible, limiting employees to predetermined roles and paths. This can leave employees feeling stuck in a particular position or unable to pursue new interests. However, career portfolios offer employees the flexibility to tailor their career paths, allowing them to explore new areas of interest and develop a broader range of skills. Additionally, it can help organizations better meet the needs of a changing workforce.
2. Lifelong learning
In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever for employees to continuously update their skill sets. Career portfolios encourage employees to engage in lifelong learning by providing them with opportunities to gain new skills and knowledge. This approach ensures that employees are prepared for the ever-changing demands of the workforce.
3. Improved retention
Organizations need to focus on retaining top talents, and offering career portfolios is one way to do this. As a result, career portfolios provide employees with opportunities for growth and development, making them more likely to stay with an organization. Additionally, career portfolios can help organizations attract new talents by demonstrating a commitment to employee development.
How to move into a career portfolio model?
If you’re ready to move away from the traditional career ladder model, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Career portfolios should be built around the needs of an individual. What skills do they want to develop? What experiences do they want to have? Do they have any long-term goals? Answering these questions will help you create a portfolio that meets the needs of an individual and helps them achieve their goals.
- Career portfolios must be aligned with an organization’s strategic objectives. This alignment will ensure that the portfolios contribute to its success.
- Creating a system for managing career portfolios, such as skills management software, is essential. This system includes a way to track progress and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, this system is flexible enough to accommodate changes in an individual’s or an organization’s objectives.
- It’s important to remember that career portfolios are not a one-size-fits-all solution. However, what works for one organization may not work for another. It’s essential to tailor the portfolio approach to the needs of an organization and the workforce.
The AG5 skills management software can help you create and manage career portfolios. Our software makes it easy to track progress and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, our flexible system can accommodate changes in an individual’s or an organization’s objectives.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create a portfolio approach that works best for your organization. Schedule your free demo now!