Do you know how to self-drive your career?


If you want to take your job to the next level, you need to make sure you self-drive your career.

I had the pleasure to attend the Unleash event in Paris last week which focuses on HR and technology and the pretty big space in between. My take on one of the main themes that came from many speakers was the idea of a self-driven career.


self drive your career


To a certain extent, this has been around for some time. Think Tom Peters, the father of personal branding and a “Brand Called You” from the 1990s. But now we need to pay closer attention.

When companies no longer guarantee a job for life, the only real constant is ourselves. Janina Kugel CHRO of Siemens suggested organisations should adopt a philosophy of “let them grow and let them go.” 

But who is responsible for that growth? It seems we are accepting that the needs of the employee and employer should be aligned, but only temporarily. Who is responsible for guaranteeing that an employee is employable in the future? It seems to be part of this unwritten contract which has yet to be clarified.

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The notion that you should self-drive your career was echoed by Heather E McGowan, strategist of future of work. She emphasised the need to learn and adapt in a world which is changing exponentially. “In the past, we learned to work. In the future, we work to continuously learn.” She encourages us to define ourselves less by what we do (our jobs) and more by why we do it. Our purpose. The valued skills of the future will be soft skills – as identified by the recent data from the World Economic Forum. These include creativity, people management, emotional intelligence and service orientation to name but four.

But more than that, committing to growth and continuous learning is vital to maintaining our own relevance, employability and long-term economic viability. McGowan added ” Learning is a new pension. It is the new way that you create a future value every day.”

This is especially important for many women for whom pension poverty is or will be a reality.

Now is the time to ask yourself what are you doing to self-drive your career and make sure you maintain your relevance, at least for the next phase of your career.


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Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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