An Intelligent Career Model for managing your career in Covid times

#careers Jan 22, 2021

A new model for managing careers

Developed in conjunction with leading online learning platform Kajabi we have built the closest thing to coaching in an online course that we can, and it's designed for organisations running outplacement either as a standalone tool or to compliment your offering.

Most online career courses are info-heavy and learning-lite. Whether you're graduating, facing redundancy or career change at any point in your working life, we're here to help. Career Discoveries will help you uncover who you really are, what you want and how to get it.

Career Discoveries is built on extensive coaching practice, research and consultation with close colleagues over the years. Here is a suggested model the course is based on for managing careers that will help people emerge post-Covid19 stronger and more marketable. Each of these 4 stages is inter-related areas, and I find that coachees move between all of them, especially the first two, many times before feeling they can commit properly to stage 4: 

This model is designed to be organic, free-flowing and multi-directional. It does not focus overly on goals, nor does it imply you move in linear fashion from one stage to another.

Stage 1 is associated with self-discovery, with a focus on reflective exercises on 5 core elements that matter most in understanding what makes us tick. Stage 2 invites exploration, through both external websites and career quiz tools and adapted exercises to facilitate brain storming and new ideas. Stage 3 crucially provides a yellow light - stop and check that what you want (stage 2) is congruent with who you are (stage 1) before stage 4 helps set an action plan and deliver a result.

Clients may feel they have a good self-concept, but we doubt whether it is sufficient enough to predict environments where you will thrive rather than just survive. Much career coaching seems to miss this point; that people leave bosses not jobs. The reason? The brain is an organ of relationship first and foremost and it tunes itself to others’ brains. Our emotional systems act pre-consciously before our rational thinking gets a chance to interpret which means at its best, good coaching will help clients become more aware of their emotional make-up and what triggers will activate certain emotions in them, in turn switching on the whole cognitive/behavioural circuit.

We increasingly anchor our transition programmes with clients by using intelligent career models like this so that someone gets an opportunity for full, whole life assessment. As the world becomes more uncertain, this is becoming more essential.   The job market our parents and grandparents faced was more certain, deliberate and patriarchal. This model presents an integrated system to self-manage careers in a VUCA world; a world where change happens quicker, more fundamentally and people can become obsolete on the turn of a coin. The notion of a job for life has gone and with it, the expectations of a parent-child relationship between employer and employee.

No longer can employees expect employers to take the moral burden of directing and safeguarding their workers’ lives, making choices for them and implicitly knowing what decisions they should take at key transition points. An adult-adult dynamic allows individuals to contract for specific periods of time as suppliers with employers (demanders) and enter into arrangements which allow delivery of their labour for certain reward. The extent to which that includes development, self-actualisation or personal satisfaction is laid firmly at the door of the individual to decide. That’s why they need a system, and the support of a professional coach, such that they can discern themselves and future choices better.  


 James Parsons

James is a Founding Partner of Defy Expectations and brings over 10 years' experience in both career and leadership coaching. He works with business leaders, entrepreneurs, founders and third sector CEOs on performance and leadership issues, and individuals on career management, as well as designing career management courses for organisations. 

Access Career Discoveries here