Rethinking Talent: What we should really be doing when people discover themselves

Since we agree most people become clearer about what they want to do after the early stages of their career and in fact encourage most people to find their “purpose”, isn’t it logical to throw open the employment/opportunity gates to people who are switching careers?


When it comes to choosing careers, very few people are so lucky to find out early on what they want to do life-long. The reality is that most people stumble into it at different points in their lives; early, mid-life or later in life. We repetitively ask people to find their purpose because ”purpose” is so important. It gives life meaning, it makes you content, fulfilled, it energises and it refreshes. When they do find that purpose, how much of a chance do we give to them exploring it? Should we allow people to continue to work to keep up with bills or really encourage work that makes them thrive?


I believe we should do more. I believe we need a talent re-think especially because we know most people discover their real interests later rather than earlier. I believe people should be given the opportunity to explore their interests to the maximum and hiring policies need adjustments to accommodate what is simply reality.


What to do when you figure out what makes you tick:

  • Make a transition plan; immediately. Writing things down actualises thoughts and adding timelines gives you a mission. Make a detailed transition plan to include the skills needed where you are going, where to learn them and when to have learned them by.


  • Create a plan for networking in this new space and building the necessary connections.


  • Learn the skills, within the timelines. Things change rapidly and you most certainly do not want to complete your learning only to find that you are already out-dated. Review constantly and keep up with industry trends.


  • Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer: Cut your teeth, make your errors where you can be forgiven. Give volunteering everything like it were a paying job and learn as much as you can.


  • Respond to vacancies, sell yourself and confidently advance towards chasing your dreams; you have everything to gain.



This is for HR Professionals:

You cannot be the human in Human Resources if you are not applying human nature to the way you view and accept talent. Inclusive employment should include people who are changing careers at various levels. It’s a reasonable assumption to believe that an older person who has recently re-trained may be more disciplined and come with a higher level of work readiness than a younger one.


We ought to drive policy that really ensures we are equal opportunity employers and provide access to great talent at all levels.

Networking: You’re still getting communication wrong!

Networking for personal and professional advancement is important; indeed it is very important. The way you communicate will make or break you. Your writing, like how you are dressed, determines how your reader profiles you.


Is there a way to communicate effectively for this purpose? Yes, there is. This list is not exhaustive but we’ve kept it short and sweet to get you on the right trajectory:

  • Be formal: Unless the person you are communicating with asks you to do otherwise. “Hello, dear” is not formal communication for someone you have never met.


  • Cultivate relationships: How early should your asks come? People do business with people they have a relationship with and trust. Work towards both, especially the latter.


  • Give and give more: What you should do instead of asking is give, give, give; connect other people, offer help, solve a problem if you can and build your networking reserves.


  • Tact, manners, respect: When you comment on posts, please be respectful. We can agree to disagree without belittling the other party or parties.


  • Friendly versus familiar: There is a thin line between being friendly and familiar. Learn the difference and improve your writing skills.


  • Quality: Read, proof-read and then read again before you send anything out to anyone. Spelling errors, typos, misplaced punctuations are signs of a sloppy writer. You will be judged on the standard of your writing.


Networking has a significant impact on your progress and should be approached with deliberateness and consciousness. When in doubt about what form your communication should take, keep it simple, keep it formal. If still in doubt, just google the best approach.