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Do you remember the Game of Life..a board game that played a really significant part in my childhood.

I remember playing this game every Christmas and being told that I would go to university, get married, have kids, buy a house and retire at 55! Well some of that has happened to me but there is no way I will retire at 55 which while slightly depressing makes me more determined than ever to build a strong career.

However it made me think that actually career management for individuals and businesses have changed completely and with most businesses having 4 at least generations how we develop our people’s careers in companies needs to adapt.

I have categorised it as the old world v the new world

In The Old World Career Management

  • Was all about linear upward movement
  • You would move from one job to another
  • Your Company would have set paths to follow
  • HR would own career development
  • A believe would exist that “If I do a good job, I’ll be taken care of”

In The New World Career Management

  • Movement sideways & diagonally (as well as up)
  • Creating opportunities to acquire new skills / experience
  • Career Development has to be and should be owned by you
  • Must be supported by your line manager

As organisations we need to develop our managers to support their people and create environments where individuals have the permission to drive their careers.

This is where as HR professionals we can really support businesses, hold the mirror up to managers and create tools, programmes and initiatives which enable people to navigate what can seem sometimes complex businesses.

Lets think of our role as instead of giving people the map and the compass and telling the how to get from A to B..we give our people a Sat nav device show them the routes and allow them to plan their own journey!

Managing your career requires time and effort and sometimes a willingness to feel uncomfortable as in those moments it is when we learn the most about ourselves.


Jo is an experienced & innovative leader and manager in the creative & technology sector. She believes that talent drives businesses, that by throwing away conventional scripts we can create environments that deliver behavioural innovation for business, the UK and the wider world. She wants to create legacies for businesses that deliver commercial, cultural and behavioural change.

Jo is Director of Talent Management for TalkTalk Group. She is responsible for driving an ambitious, innovative talent strategy. Her ambition is to empower people to take responsibility for their learning to make TalkTalk a brighter place to work for everyone – fulfilling theirs and others dreams and ambitions. She is currently creating a distinct employer brand proposition which plans for future business growth, driving a culture of innovation & risk which allows TalkTalk to be more opportunistic about where and how they develop their talent.

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