Career and Life Planning

Times have changed. Organisations, whether in the public or private sector, if they are to survive and prosper, have to continually react to the rapidly changing environment within which they operate. This means that organisations have to be sufficiently flexible to cope with such changes. This involves frequent job changes, new organisational structures, new patterns of work, retraining and continually up-dating skills. Organisations can no longer promise managers a career for life nor fulfil promotional expectations.
Change Matters can either provide one-to-one career coaching or design and develop career and life planning workshops to our client’s specific requirements. Underpinning our work in this area is our belief that it is important for individuals to take responsibility for their own career development by reviewing and planning their future career direction.
Whether in the form of a workshop or as one-to-one career coaching, we generally follow the same Career and Job Planning process as described below: (for a diagrammatic overview click here

Step 1: Introduction to the Process: Participants will be introduced to the overall career and job planning process so that they fully understand why some of the initial diagnostic processes are so important in helping to clarify their career direction.

Step 2: Self Assessment (Personal Reflection): Participants will also be given a “Personal Stock-Take” workbook and given guidance on how to get the most from the self-assessment process. Participants will be required to carry out a personal stock-take to explore their capabilities, interests, achievements, etc. Although some participants think that they already know themselves well, unfortunately this is not usually the case. We often take for granted the skills and achievements that we have accomplished over the years and this can be fatal when seeking a new job. At the next stage, they will need to start to think about what they want to be doing in the future and reviewing their skills and interests will help with this process. Normally, this is done individually, in the participants own time but can be incorporated into a workshop, where working in pairs and small groups, participants can challenge each other on their own assumptions and assessments.

Step 3: Establishing Future Goals: The next step involves participants reviewing the outcome of their personal stock-take and to give consideration to where they will be going in the future. It is important at this stage to give participants the opportunity to carry out a full re-assessment as to the future direction of their life and career. This workshop will help them to creatively think about their various ideal options; their work preferences and strengths as well as the practical constraints that will govern their choice of direction; and the ability to effectively evaluate these options against these factors.

Step 4a – For Organisationally Sponsored Programmes: Normally, our clients are seeking to help to maximise a member of staff’s potential by ensuring that appropriate career progression takes place within their existing organisation. As such this stage of the process is to help individuals in identifying appropriate opportunities which both meet their goal aspirations and their strengths as part of the organisation’s Talent Management Programme.
Below is a typical example of such a programme that we have delivered in the past:

  • Career/Life Planning Workshop: This programme was developed for senior doctors and other clinicians who were frustrated with their present role. It enabled individuals to review their career or their life, change direction or confirm that they were in the right job but needed to develop it in some way. Sample Agenda

Step 4b – For Individuals Seeking Career & Life Planning: Once an individual has explored and identified his/her future goals, s/he will be able to decide upon whether s/he will want to take one of three routes:

Route 1: Employment – full or part-time. If this is their choice, then they may wish to work through one, two or three of the next key components of this process, depending upon their requirements.

  • Researching and Approaching the Job Market. The aim of this stage of the process is to lead the participant through a range of steps by helping them to have a clear understanding of the types of roles that are available out in the market place as well as exploring the different routes to identifying suitable job opportunities that are available to them.
  • Developing Your Marketing Literature. This stage will help the individual in developing all of their marketing material including CVs, application forms and letter-writing so that it gets them to the next step - that job interview.
  • The Job Interview. This final step will help the individual to succeed at the job interview and negotiate an appropriate employment package.

Route 2: Self Employment. If this is the individual’s chosen direction we will work with them to create a development plan to move forward with their endeavour. This process will provide coaching support, help identify suitable workshops that are freely available and provide guide notes on different aspects of setting up a business.

Route 3: Retirement or Semi-Retirement. If, on the other hand, this is the participant’s chosen direction, then we will organise for them to attend one of the workshops that are run by our associate organisation who specialises in this area of expertise. If the outcome of this workshop highlights the need to seek some part-time employment to supplement their pension, then this support will be provided by working through the key elements on the employment route.