Recruiting and Hiring

How can HR support workers with 'unwelcome' career changes?

Career change happens whether workers like it or not, and navigating through any transition caused by a lot of reasons, including burnout, company changes, industry closures, and new technology, could become challenging and exhausting for many workers.

Reports from the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) showed that every person will likely undergo career transitions throughout their lifetime, with some experiencing several changes simultaneously.

Given these challenges, CDAA listed the aspects that HR could go over with an employee faced with significant career transitions to increase their awareness and understanding of the critical elements of such changes. How can HR leaders better support their staff through this shift?

What is the nature of the career transition?

CDAA said that career transitions are “experienced by everyone during their lives and fall along a continuum, varying in size, type, and origin.”

It reported that these changes entail processes with various steps, and such transition needs career-related skills to achieve goals and make reasonable decisions.

While many workers may believe they do not have a career in the first place, the CDAA noted that when practitioners talk about a “career,” they are referring to “paid and unpaid work, parenting, care work, volunteering, leisure activities, learning and education, and how these influence choices, decisions, and how people live their lives.”

What are possible challenges?

Aside from knowing the nature of career changes, it is also essential to ask what challenges could impede an effective career change.

“Some people don’t know what information to look for, have misconceptions about occupations, or do not realize how job searching has changed,” the report said. “A person may experience low confidence, lack motivation, have outdated or aging skills, and lack faith in their ability to find new opportunities.”

The importance of professional help comes into play at this point, as professional assistance will help workers understand and discover the mechanism of the labor market.

What kind of help do career practitioners offer?

Career development, according to CDAA, is a term describing the discipline and practice of assisting people with their jobs.

CDAA defined career practitioners as individuals who look at careers as more of a means of management of “life, learning, work, leisure, and transitions across the lifespan.”

“Career professionals have recognized qualifications in Career Development, abide by professional standards, and meet annual professional development requirements,” the organization said.“Their services help people to make good decisions about career changes, work, study and training, ones that fit their personal circumstances, interests, skills and life goals.”

CDAA said that when experiencing career transitions, it is crucial to seek help from a professional career practitioner to assist you in your professional growth and help you identify opportunities in line with your skills, interests, and values.

Employers should have career specialists on standby to help guide their workers.

How can you identify transferable skills?

Knowing and understanding a worker’s strengths is a common challenge. More importantly, it could be blurry for many workers what “transferable skills” may mean.

According to CDAA, transferable skills are skills gained or learned in one job or occupation that could be applied to another.

“For example, a person who solves problems in their job may be so familiar with this process that they take it for granted, and do not see that their problem-solving skills are relevant to a job in a different industry,” the organization said. “When facing a major career transition, being able to identify and explain transferable skills increases the chances of expanding opportunities.”

Who is your support system?

When experiencing a career transition, it is essential for the worker to be surrounded by people who will stand by them no matter what happens, the CDAA said.

“Such people might be family members, friends, employers, work colleagues, mentors, and members of community organizations,” the organization said. “Career practitioners can help build skills to expand a worker’s support network.”