Career paths divert from one-way routes

A snapshot of career paths in an organisation no longer resembles a crowded one-way street to the top. Traditionally, career paths have been vertical pursuits to a certain top post. Organisations are now creating numerous ways in which professional journeys can be undertaken.
Ericsson in India is helping employees in creating ‘career portfolios’, while Crisil is making career navigability within the organisation an easier task for employees. HR industry experts term such moves as key to ensure talent remains engaged.


“The move has emerged from the realisation that people see their careers not as a short-term conversation but as a full-blown one around creating paths that give both flexibilities as well as empowerment to decide how they want to build their own careers. To us, career paths — as a singular pursuit in one direction — is a thing of the past. That’s no longer palatable to people,” said Priyanka Anand, VP & head HR at Ericsson (Southeast Asia, Oceania and India).
Anand said career portfolios that represent a person’s vast and diverse professional journey, coupled with the choices they want to make through experimentation, is the way forward. “We are looking at new ways of crafting one’s professional future. When you have these career portfolio discussions, you enable people to think about purpose and the flexibility of being able to pivot into different domains. People don’t want to be boxed into one single path or role, and it’s aligned to ourwhole mindset of having a lifelong learning. It’s important that we help our people diversify skill sets and access leadership opportunities,” added Anand.
Ericsson has a ‘career hub’ where such conversations lead to the creation of career portfolios for employees. “Employees clearly are the CEOs of their career. They decide which role they want to adopt, and which journey they want to embark upon and in how much time. We’ve invested in our leaders to become coaches and to have those career conversations with individuals and help them build their career portfolio,” she said.
India Inc’s transition to provide choices to employees on their careers stems from the growing aspirations of younger talent.
Analytical company Crisil’s president & CHRO Anupam Kaura said, “Earlier, new joinees would spend 5-7 years learning in a job family at Crisil before considering their next move within the company. Now that question about the next move, which is not necessarily in the same vertical, comes up in less than 5 years of joining. It’s a clear change that we have seen, and we have taken active measures to create those careerpaths for individuals. In December last year, we refreshed our talent, employee value proposition with career being akey vector.”
So, a person with analytical skills can be placed in either businesses that require credit or research skills. “Such navigability in career paths will also allow us to make sure that the person stays engaged with us for longer,” said Kaura. At Crisil, all jobs are advertised internally first. Based on the career chats with people who potentially fit the bill, Crisil encourages these employees to apply for the jobs. Their learning journeys in terms of their preparedness is also designed accordingly, said Kaura.
Individuals who build career portfolios are better prepared to pitch for new opportunities. “We work in an industry which constantly gets disrupted by technology. By making creative connections between skills and the required jobs, we enable people to have those journeys work to their advantage and create a win-win,” said Anand.
According to a study by LinkedIn, 83% Indians feel career paths two decades ago were more straightforward, and the skill sets that were required were more obvious.

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