For many people, a questioning appears at one time or another in relation to the professional future, either by obligation (loss of job or change in personal life), or by dissatisfaction with the situation experienced at that moment.
Maybe we are where we want to be, but the crisis has changed everything… and we feel as if we have a void under our feet.
In this time of crisis, whether people are still employed or on layoff, temporary or permanent, anxiety and insecurity arise and cause questions about their future as well as the definition of what that they have achieved so far. While everything is idling, there is more time to think.
- Are they happy with what they have accomplished so far?
- Are they where they saw themselves 5, 10 or even 20 years ago, in terms of career and personal values?
- Has the crisis we are going through led them into a reflection that has brought more questions than answers?
Introspection above all
As a recruitment consultant, the inability to fulfill themselves and the desire to learn more in order to meet their need to grow as individuals are some of the reasons that candidates often share with me. By linking to a survey of 1,023 Canadians by Indeed in the fall of 2019 that confirms these reasons, they have one thing in common: self-realization.
Professional change has an impact on our lives, and to maximize the benefits it will bring, it is essential to do it for the right reasons.
Emmanuel Challier has been supporting people in career transition for over 20 years and highlights the importance of that initial stage. “Starting a career assessment is a crucial phase of introspection to identify the uniqueness of his professional DNA. It is a meeting with yourself necessary to better understand what sets you apart from others in terms of expertise and impact in the organization. “
It is during this thought process that it will be possible to identify if the objective is to change employer, position … or career – all avenues having a different path.
One approach I suggest to people is to prioritize their goals, what they want and what they do not. And above all… the old-fashioned pencil and paper method – because the brain absorbs information differently in the thinking process. This list will help put into perspective what comes closest to what they are looking for when opportunities and options arise. Simple and classic as an approach, but still effective.
Support from professionals can also help in this process, making it possible to offer a neutral look on certain aspects and offer different lines of reflection.
One step at a time
Emotions can influence reality and make people take decisions that may be regretted later. Conversely, fear and insecurity can hold a few back from making certain decisions, which may be beneficial for the future. Humans fear change, it is known, and completely normal in a process of change.
These changes may require several steps, as well as some time to complete. They can be as much in terms of skills and knowledge acquisition, personal situation, financial adaptation or the environment. In short, each aspect that can be influenced by the decision deserves consideration.
For example, a change in employer, career direction or moving into entrepreneurship all have different aspects to consider. The important thing is that once a decision is made, it is to time to act.
Sometimes an employee leaves a company with which he had a good relationship with, in order to achieve career goals, not believing that his employer can meet his expectations, when the employer could have helped him in his journey. Open communication is recommended when a bond of trust is in place with the employer.
By sharing thoughts and objectives with the employer, he could offer up to the challenges. They will be happy – or even positively surprised – and could include the employee in a project or a challenge, in the short or long term. Especially in this period and in the months to come when organizations will have to make important decisions and they will need contributors to lead their business in a new direction.
“The people who keep their jobs during the pandemic will however have the responsibility to redefine their role and responsibility in line with the mission of the organization and the new vision of their employer,” specifies Emmanuel.
The employers’ contribution
Many studies have shown that an engaged employee is not only more efficient, but has a lower absenteeism rate, is more inclined to contribute to the development of their employer and retention rate improves, while enhancing the employer’s brand.
In order to achieve this, it is important that companies involve their staff in the solution process. Their engagement will be greater, and people will often bring a facet which will allow to even have more effective solutions and facilitate change management.
Allowing employees to realize themselves, letting them flourish while clearly communicating the strategic objectives and expectations of management can only be beneficial for the company.
A few conditions must be followed: an open discussion guided by active listening by managers, followed by concrete actions, preferring collaborative leadership to micro-management, and demonstrating confidence in the teams in place – and this at all levels of the business.
Annual one-on-one reviews can be a great opportunity to have such a discussion, if actions and follow-ups are carried out at least on a quarterly basis. Ideally, the personal objectives of the employee can be linked to the objectives of the company, and thus create a beneficial synergy for all.
Self-realization through recruitment
Beyond the aspect of remuneration and marginal benefits, candidates are increasingly looking for an employer who will allow them to realize themselves.
During the recruitment process, it is therefore crucial to probe the personal and professional objectives of candidates, to understand the path they have taken, their motivations for the years to come and their expectations of an employer.
On the corporate side, the way that employee development is encouraged must be defined and used in order to integrate into the employer brand in order to attract talent.
In summary: Reflection, discussion, action. And repeat as many times as necessary until the objectives set are reached!
I leave you with two quotes from Steve Jobs that I particularly like.
Do you have a quote that once influenced you in such thinking?
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
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