Marketers are familiar with life stage segmentation in trying to understand buying motivations and decisions. For some time we have been interested in how the same technique might be applied to looking at career phases.
Below we have developed our own tool that we believe identifies the key phases of the career focused working life:
These age ranges are not exact, for some they happen slightly earlier or later, but we believe for most people these are the key phases that need to be paid attention to:
It’s in childhood that much of how people approach their working life is formed. A person’s approach to leadership, responsibility, authority, conflict, motivation, material acquisition and ambition all are shaped in this phase. Formal learning plays only a part in the process.
The Student Protégé
How focused is the person? A university degree is now much more than a lifestyle choice or a deferment of work decisions. The financial cost means choices have to be conscious and considered. It’s in this phase that people experiment, test early passions, and reject options. If they’re lucky they will find good advice and a mentor. They should be laying down deep layers of learning.
The Young Gun
This is a short, key phase. It’s where ‘early form’ needs to be demonstrated. The person gets noticed through early achievement. By leveraging all they have learnt so far this phase has the potential to be a real career ‘kicker’.
The Bet Placer
Here the person should be succeeding with real achievements. Through the generation of insight they position themselves to take advantage of opportunities. They become an important member of the ‘go to’ cohort when things need to be done.
The Rain Maker
In this phase the person has real power (and uses it) to change and transform things. They see more angles, more opportunities and more risks than others. They make things bigger and they put interesting things together. They can, and do, make things happen.
The Safe Habour
Here judgement is everything. Because they have seen a lot, they call things right and they call them early. They can be relied on to say something sensible (not the same as being conservative) and to come up with solutions.
Wise words said by people who have no further career ambition and probably no financial incentive either. This makes their opinion valuable.