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A World in Transition: Insights from Transition Hub - Design Thinking Your Career

One thing I am certain of is the need for new and creative approaches to help people in career transition consider potential pathways to employment.

Less than six months ago, most writing about the Future of Work focused on automation and AI as the key drivers of workplace change. The horizon was indefinite, and many organisations were struggling to identify how best to upskill and transition their employees into new ways of working.  

Fast-forward to mid-year and our working lives have experienced a seismic shift at a pace no one could have predicted. 

The question remains to be seen, as to how much our current work from home situation remains post-Covid. We have clients who are giving up real estate with a commitment to bring people together ‘as needed’ for culture initiatives, teambuilding and complex problem-solving. BAU will be happening from home. Others are embracing a 60/40 or 80/20 ratio with the majority of work remaining home-based.

So, how do we prepare ourselves for the ever-changing work landscape?

As career coaches, we help people navigate not just new ways of working, but also new ways of sourcing work, new ways of positioning, new communication mediums, and often a new mindset that is more expansive and open. Reinventing oneself takes time and the process of identifying and targeting your next career move requires both creativity and collaboration.

One of my favourite sessions in our 5-day ‘Reimagine Your Future’ program is on ‘Design-Thinking Your Career’. There are several reasons why I find it so enjoyable.

Firstly, it is a truly creative approach to career planning. Inspired by design-thinking principles including affinity mapping and lean canvas, participants individually brainstorm what they believe the world needs, how their values, strengths and skills might be put to best use to service those needs and how they might go to market to pursue the career they desire. 

Secondly, what makes this process so powerful is the collaboration that happens next. Brains Trust teams are formed as a sounding board for each person to pitch their ideas and receive further input from the group. This helps deepen the rigour of the person’s thinking. Networks and connections are also offered to facilitate conversations to further explore possibilities.

Thirdly, the timing of this session is very deliberate, acting as a tipping point in the week. The first two days focus on self-awareness, confidence, and brand building, which allows people to think deeply about who they are and what they might like to achieve in broad terms.

By Wednesday morning, our delegates are keen to distil their big picture thinking into a concrete plan. The design thinking process culminates with a 1-page ‘T-Hub Career Canvas’. This model captures their inner work from previous days as well as their design thinking output to form a concrete action plan. The link between the inner work and future opportunities is critical, as the former acts as a compass with which to evaluate potential opportunities against. Understanding one’s values, strengths and transferable skills ensures clear direction and sound decision-making.

At Transition Hub, we experience a shared delight in watching people grow as humans, embrace change, and confidently step into the future of work. 

Director & author bio: A gifted writer, facilitator, coach and co-founder of Transition Hub, Karen Thomas works with our clients to develop global transformation programs, crafting meaningful messages into positive training experiences. As a co-founder and Director of Transition Hub, Karen has created our signature playbook and coach training methodology.


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