What’s So Different Between 20th and 21st Century Individually Focused Assessments?

If you experienced an outplacement in the 20th century, chances are you were probably like 9 out of our 10 clients; people who were seeking regular, full-time jobs similar to the jobs they had recently lost to layoff or restructuring. During this time, standard assessment instruments were widely used throughout Career Partners International’s coaching practice as the first step in the outplacement process. They worked well precisely because the 20th century transition experience, from assessment through negotiations, was next JOB oriented and usually occurred at the time of involuntary job change.

That was then; this is now! Work, in all its iterations – not just jobs – rules the future! Assessments are customized, not standardized.

We now live in a world where “jobs” are only one alternative out of dozens of paths to success and financial security.

The 21st century is a world where organizations will not hire you full-time if you are not needed full-time.  This is a world where, in many countries, three to four years is the average length of employment in private sector jobs.  This is a world where globalization, new technologies, economic uncertainties and demographic change have accelerated both the pace and demands of change.  This is a world that has left many hard-working people behind on the scrapheap of history.

Today, because we must learn to work in many new ways, targeted and specifically directed internal analysis and self-assessment is more important than in days of yore.  Before the clock strikes midnight in your career, you will need to explore a wide range of new opportunities in order to remain gainfully, or meaningfully, engaged in the workplace. 

Allow me, please, to use the U.S. for transitional examples that apply to you, in some part, no matter where you live and work.

  • Early stage careers.  Ask yourself why almost 50% of U.S. college graduates cannot find jobs immediately upon graduation when, at the same time, over 1.5 million jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, are going begging?  Might it be that if the assessment process began as early as middle or high school, we would do better at linking our youngest generations’ goals and dreams with market-driven options?   (For an early example of progress in assessment and development of young talent in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States, take a look at http://www.realgame.com/).  
  • Are you at mid-career and are familiar options disappearing before your eyes?   How might you redirect your career while there is still plenty of time for repositioning?  Mid-career assessment by CPI’s qualified experts just makes sense.  It’s rather like a 50,000 mile checkup for your car.  Time to look at your options from the inside out before the car - or the career - gives out!  
  • It is said that demographics predict destiny.  If this is so and you are at the time of life that you yourself might describe as a late-stage career, it is doubtful that your youthful goals apply to your mature self.  CPI’s Active Life Planning and New Horizons programs are based on assessing your interests and then leveraging your goals at this stage of life.

But, wait…Other changes demand customizable assessment.

Are you interested in “going global” in order to work in another country?  Many people are – but the question remains; are you suited to a global career with all that leaving home entails?  Assessment will help you to determine your suitability for global assignment. 

Let’s say that you are interested in buying or starting your own business. In the U.S. alone, 600,000 thousand people seek to explore such options annually.   Do you know the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and can you manage your fear of risk?  Is looking at yourself in a meaningful, directed way, one of the keys to overcoming the challenges of taking risks – of changing your mindset from working for someone else to working for yourself?

Can you name at least two dozen alternative career paths to pursue?  We can. If you are currently seeking a new job or career path, keep in mind the importance of aligning the right assessment instrument and the right coach in keeping with your stated goals. This customization and alignement can make all the difference.

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  1. Phil Jarvis's avatar
    Phil Jarvis
    | Permalink
    Thanks for the link to Career Cruising's (careercruising.com) Real Game experiential learning programs for primary and secondary students, Carleen. Children learn their first language and social skills through play, often imagining themselves in adult roles (i.e., police officer, fire fighter, doctor/nurse, etc.) Then they get to school and we tell them to stop daydreaming and focus on the blackboard. We believe helping students develop informed dreams of a future that excites them and preparing them for immediate career and life success when they finish school should be job 1 of the education system.
  2. Laura Schlafly's avatar
    Laura Schlafly
    | Permalink
    Carleen, what you've written here totally supports how I coach my midlife clients who have experienced a "career detour" caused by layoff, merger, health or family challenge, and just plain want "out" to something more meaningful.
  3. Carleen MacKay's avatar
    Carleen MacKay
    | Permalink
    Thank you Laura and Phil. "Work" as we have known it will continue to change and we must be ready to change with it!

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