In my research I discovered that professional competence was no longer enough to have a successful career. Careers are likely to become more fragmented, last longer and include breaks and periods of unemployment. As well as reflecting on their learning relating to professional competence, the ICAEW members I interviewed also talked about learning relating to work-life balance, about issues such as motivation and confidence and about the need to shape their careers. I chose the phrase career adaptability to encompass these extra facets of learning and incorporated this aspect of learning into my model.
Career adaptability is more than resilience which is the ability to bounce back. You also need to move forward as you shape your career and your future. Within career adaptability I identified the five elements shown in the diagram. For each of us there will be some of these where we already feel very comfortable but others may need more focus. What we need to do is to ensure we are good enough at each of the elements to enable us to have the careers and futures we want.
The thinking behind career adaptability very much resonated with CABA, the charity supporting ICAEW chartered accountants' wellbeing. As a result my concept of career adaptability has underpinned CABA's course programme for several years. To find out more you can watch this short video and access information about CABA's courses programme.