Do you remember the old days of black and white television? Even if you don’t remember them, your parents most certainly would and the vast majority of people who had careers in those days probably had  black and white’ careers, but yours should be in full HD colour. So what do I mean by this?

Well, traditionally people joined an organisation and were told that if they played their cards right the company would recognise their talents and offer promotion ‘all in good time’. There was far more of an emphasis on having a job for life and the sign of a good employee was one who had not moved around too much. In line with that was the employee’s expectation that the business would manage their career for them, deciding when and where their career should progress. When I picture this scenario I see a black and white image of a man sitting at a desk with papers, pens and a big Bakelite telephone waiting patiently for things to happen to him.

One thing’s for certain, the world has changed. For any business to survive, let alone thrive in these times they have to be nimble, adaptable, proactively find new customers and markets, re-energise their brand reputation and flex in this ever evolving economy.

We have to recognise therefore that for employees to build any form of longer term employability they also need to be nimble, adaptable, be forward thinking and develop the skills that are needed for the future success of the organisation. It is critical that individuals make themselves relevant for what’s ahead, by taking ownership of their careers and making themselves indispensable within the future plans.

This career ownership begins to bring colour into the working life. Full colour careers are those that are enriched by knowing that you have to plan and drive your own destiny. I have worked with some wonderful people who have taken action on this and they have achieved a sense of liberation, purpose and clarity as a result. This new motivational state has led them to stretch and develop and create their own success and have added essential value to their organisation. Multiply this by painting this career ownership colour throughout an organisational culture, then you have a forward thinking, nimble and evolving business full of engaged employees.

The bottom line to this success is encouraging people to treat their careers as an asset, such as your house. If you don’t invest in your property over the years it will become out-dated and is likely to give you a far lesser financial return. It has to be kept up to date, modernised and maintained. To capitalise on the investment you may need to add extra value such as an extension, which makes the property more attractive and therefore of greater value. Now relate this to your career.

If you own your career as you do your property, you will proactively invest in it, develop new and value adding skills and experiences that will make you more attractive (in employability terms!) and continually seek ways to make greater returns in terms of finance and/or fulfilment.

In a CIPD survey 97% of people questioned were keen to proactively manage their own careers but very few actually knew how. Internal career discussions are an essential tool for employers to adopt but in the spirit of ownership it is the individual who must get to grips with 2 things: Firstly their own skills and what will make them a critical player in tomorrow’s organisation and secondly what the organisational strategy is, so they can align themselves to this.

Modern careers are about colour, not black and white. You have to add your own colour, ideally stretching to  HD or 3D, and embrace the fact that the future will not wait for you; you have to go out and seek it. It’s stimulating, motivating and will enable you to engage with the business in a way that you never have before. If you are not currently working then invest in the future skills that the market requires and use these to go and broadcast yourself to new employers in full colour.

At The Career Gym we are career experts and have worked with individuals and businesses to enhance engagement and success through these methods. It is not an overnight change but a transformation that builds momentum through awareness, practice and confidence. The Career Gym are there as the catalyst and the coaches and mentors through this exciting transformation period.

Please call to have a discussion on how we can help develop you or your employees to make the most of tomorrow’s opportunities.