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It’s time we get career adapt-able

22nd Feb 2017
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Laura Little, CABA’s learning and development manager, explains why it’s now more important than ever to be career adaptable.

The world of work has seen a seismic shift over recent years. Nowadays, few people stay in the same job for the whole of their working life, with flexible working patterns and the concept of 'portfolio' careers becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, it’s now more normal to not only job hop, but to do it in different industries and disciplines too.

As the world of work changes, we need to change with it, becoming more flexible to manage the change that comes our way. Being adaptable enables more control, as it allows us to take responsibility for our careers. By knowing how to manage difficult situations, we can realise the opportunities, not just the potential pitfalls. Being able to adapt in the face of change, or being career adaptable, is key to future success.

That’s why we’ve been working with the Warwick Institute for Employment Research to re-develop an existing career adapt-ability tool in order to help past and present ICAEW members to measure exactly how career adaptable they are. By exploring how an individual approaches the key areas of career adapt-ability, we can measure how flexible a person is, and help ICAEW members build the skills they need to ensure they can adjust easily to different industries or roles when they need to.

There are four key areas to career adaptability, which all influence your ability to manage any challenges you face:

  • Concern for the future: an interest in the future helps you to look ahead and prepare for what might come next
  • Control: taking responsibility for your career development enables you to influence and shape it – ‘we are the change that we seek’
  • Curiosity: imagining and exploring different potential scenarios opens up new possibilities
  • Confidence: having belief in your capacity to pursue and achieve your goals

With workplace culture, legislation and expectations continuously evolving, career adaptability is now more vital than ever. Being able to understand how the stresses you face impact you, your drive and your reaction to change will stand you in good stead.

 Being career adaptable and going with the flow, instead of swimming against the tide of change will help you be resilient. Not all of us will be perfect in all four areas of career adaptability, so preparing for it now and working on your weaker areas will help you when you do need to put these resources into practice.

Want to find out how career-adaptable you are? Take the test and find out here.

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