TalentWhat does ‘career transition’ mean today?

What does 'career transition' mean today?

Is 'career transition' just another word for outplacement, or does it have another meaning in the modern workplace? Kate Keaney, CEO, Connor HR, investigates.

By Kate Keaney, CEO, Connor HR.


What does “career transition” mean to you? For many, it’s manager speak for leaving your job – like “moving on” or “being let go” — in other words, a synonym for “redundancy”. But career transition encompasses a range of scenarios, of which redundancy is just one.

Let’s take a step back for a moment and consider what the word “transition” means: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. That could apply to a multitude of career scenarios:

  • Seeking promotion or a role change
  • Moving to part-time hours or taking retirement
  • Evaluating what’s next for you and your career
  • Maternity/paternity career breaks
  • Travelling/gap years/sabbaticals
  • Caring for a relative

Each one of these scenarios poses a risk to an organisation — the risk of losing a valued employee. So how can you prepare for and mitigate that risk while still supporting your people?

Support for any kind of career change

The changing nature of the workplace means that many fewer people have or expect a job for life these days. An employee’s career journey is likely to change lanes and gears many times before they reach retirement.

Supporting employees through these moments of change gives you a chance to retain them, if you can, or to manage their departure from your organisation in a way that doesn’t disrupt business as usual. It also helps strengthen your employer brand and position you as an employer of choice, by showing you value and invest in your people.

One instance of this is women going on, and returning from, maternity leave. One of our large public-sector clients found that more than half of their female employees were leaving voluntarily within two years of maternity leave. By supporting these employees in an objective, constructive way, you can help them to make informed decisions about whether they come back to work or not – and then support them as they adjust back into the workplace if they do return.

Another great example is individuals who seem to have ‘stalled’ in your organisation. Perhaps they were making great progress, but this has now ground to a halt, or they are seeming to disengage from their work and your organisation. It’s likely that these people are needing to make a decision about their career – perhaps they aren’t happy in the role they’re in right now. An intervention designed to help that individual decide what’s missing from their role will help them determine the right path forward, whether that’s  development to make them more effective or stretch them in their current role, a different role in your organisation, or a role in a different organisation. Whatever the decision, you’re able to either retain that person and keep them productive, or manage their transition with minimal disruption to the organisation and their colleagues.

Of course, retirement is a different story — you can’t keep someone while they retire from work. We are constantly being told that we need to work for longer if we want to maintain the standard of living we’ve come to expect in 2019; one result of which is that people are increasingly reluctant to start thinking about retirement. Given that the percentage of the UK population over 65 is estimated to exceed 20% within the next ten years according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), this means that organisations everywhere are likely to find their talent pipelines under threat as positions at the top of the organisation don’t open up, or employees that would ideally like to move towards retirement don’t know how to have this conversation and become disruptive.

Supporting your valued employees with retirement transition services helps them to retire in an orderly (and timely) manner, with open communication back to the organisation. Then, your organisation can properly manage its talent pipeline, ensuring that senior positions become available for talented young individuals before they become bored and look elsewhere, as well as helping the employees who are moving on adjust to this new phase of life.

Nurture and retain your key people

When organisations view career transition as a synonym for people leaving, they miss out on so many opportunities to develop and grow their workforce in a controlled, orderly way, and keep talented individuals on board.

Rather than seeing the dynamic nature of the modern workplace as a threat, look on it as an opportunity instead — an opportunity to bring out the very best in your people.

Comments are closed.

What's Hot

HRD People Leadership Survey 2019

Leadership Development HRD People Leadership Survey 2019

8m
How HR professionals can reinvent their organisations

Strategy & Leadership How HR professionals can reinvent their organisations

2m Dave Ulrich and Arthur Yeung
Creating real human transformation at work: HRD Live Podcast with Janine Truitt, Talent Think Innovations

HRD Live Podcasts Creating real human transformation at work: HRD Live Podcast with Janine Truitt, Talent Think Innovations

2m HRD Connect
Predicting workforce gaps with data-powered HR: Danny Hodgson, Co-Founder, Foresight

Digital HR Predicting workforce gaps with data-powered HR: Danny Hodgson, Co-Founder, Foresight

2m Michael Hocking
Why Diverse Teams are Smarter: HRD Live Podcast with Katherine Phillips, Columbia Business School

HRD Live Podcasts Why Diverse Teams are Smarter: HRD Live Podcast with Katherine Phillips, Columbia Business School

2m HRD Connect
Understanding D&I: The shortest distance between two people is a story

Diversity & Inclusion Understanding D&I: The shortest distance between two people is a story

2m Wendy Dailey

Related Articles

How to improve your employees' capabilities

Talent How to improve your employees' capabilities

2w Louron Pratt
HR must learn from marketing to improve employer brand

Talent HR must learn from marketing to improve employer brand

2w Wendy Dailey
HR Distinction Spotlight: How Warburtons transformed their talent strategy

Talent HR Distinction Spotlight: How Warburtons transformed their talent strategy

3w Louron Pratt
Why internal mobility is critical to your talent strategy

Talent Why internal mobility is critical to your talent strategy

3w Michael Hocking
HR Distinction Spotlight: Reinventing talent attraction at Wipro

Talent HR Distinction Spotlight: Reinventing talent attraction at Wipro

4w Louron Pratt
Getting talent ready for future skills

Talent Getting talent ready for future skills

4w Louron Pratt
Transforming the talent market with digital learning

Talent Transforming the talent market with digital learning

1m Louron Pratt
The Evolution of Talent Management

Talent The Evolution of Talent Management

1m Geoffroy de Lestrange