2018 Career Resolutions

2018 Career Resolutions

2018 — This is the year! This is the year that you’re going to change jobs, pull the trigger, take the leap, leave your current holding pattern and find a career that you love! Whether it’s one of the 29 companies that will be hiring like crazy in 2018 or a dream job in the next cubicle – it is time to start preparing.

Step 1: Reflect and collect

Think back on the last 24 months. What were the problems you solved for your organization? How did you save your department money? What new innovations did you introduce? What project or events happened because of your leadership? Once you’ve made this list – gather evidence. Look for event brochures, thank you cards, financial statements, newspaper articles, email threads, and final reports.

Step 2: Make it habit

Now that you’ve gone into the past to gather evidence of all they great work you’ve done, make it a habit to log evidence as it happens. Reinvent the selfie. Ask others to take a photo or a video of you while you’re on stage. Ask a supervisor to pen some feedback “for your portfolio” when you’re in the moment and the accolades are fresh.

Step 3: Build and organize the content 

Post the content you’ve collected in one or more competency profiles. This will give your content shape and allow the person viewing your portfolio to sort, filter and search for exactly what they’re looking for. If you use a portfolio, you will stand out. If you use a portfolio that takes no more than 3 minutes to see the difference that you bring to the table –  you will win!

Step 4: Plan a growth pathway

Before you share your portfolio, plan the next steps in your growth plan by choosing a competency portfolio that demonstrates your growth mindset. A forward thinking portfolio is what differentiates Competency.io from other e-portfolio platforms and other professional networks. Although it is important to demonstrate past performance, we also believe it is important to demonstrate your plans for excellence going forward.

Step 5: Share and shine!

Share your portfolio with the people who you want to impress. Keep your portfolio private and share the link, or publish a completed competency profile to your public page and share this link. MIT has been using portfolios to screen top talent for the last few years. It is the way of the future. Start now and be sure to stand out!

Technology can be self-funding

Technology can be self-funding

This morning I participated in a webinar by Harvard Business Review led by Andy Daecher of Deloitte, made possible by Cisco Jasper. Andy explored the framework surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) and the ways businesses are leveraging IoT to transform business processes. Here are my takeaways.


Business processes are going to change. Technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are helping businesses automate processes. It is no longer a question of “should we explore technologies that will streamline our business processes and innovate our business model,” but rather “HOW should we go about exploring and adopting new technologies.”

Decisions must be driven by value: new markets, new processes, product development, logistics planning, inventory management, and business model innovation. Companies must develop clear metrics to measure return on their investment and monitor these metrics closely as they launch a pilot project. The key is to start small in a module-by-module format that engages the end user. Then, once the ROI is demonstrated, scale quickly and broadly.

People are often weary of technological change and the possibility that machine learning and artificial intelligence will take away their jobs. The fact is, jobs are changing, not disappearing. The nature of work will involve the use of technology, machines, data and analytics. In order to promote adoption, start now and engage the most sceptical people in the process.

People are more likely to participate in change if they are part of the solution from the beginning. When it comes to technology, IoT, AI, and machine learning, people can be involved in modeling and pilot use. Teams of subject matter experts can build use cases informed by their experience and help layer technology into each use case. This level of involvement will ensure investment when it comes time to pilot the solution. Those who are involved will want to see that their recommendations are successful.

When businesses start small, the adoption of technology is cost effective. If the ROI is realized within one business unit, the project can become self-funding. For example, if Competency.io portfolios are used to recognize performance and retain staff, there will be a measurable impact on employee turnover. This measurable impact will have a distinct dollar value and these cost savings will help fund the remainder of project implementation.

Portfolios address the core tenants of intrinsic motivation

Portfolios address the core tenants of intrinsic motivation

The if-then or carrot-and-stick approach to motivation worked well for generations and the associated industrial/mechanical set of tasks. However, work is different in 2018. The requirement for thinking, creativity, and innovation necessitates a different approach to employee motivation.

Using a carrot approach to motivating people is about using incentives to drive performance. Pay employees more money if they achieve a target. Offer them bonuses or vacations if they achieve a goal. Then, if the carrot doesn’t work try the stick. The stick is punishment for not achieving a goal: a lost bonus, a lesser vacation, a forgone promotion, or a demotion. This approach has worked for decades.

Dan Pink provides evidence that this “if-then” approach to motivation works well for mechanical tasks, but not higher order thinking tasks. The future requires something different. In fact, he sites research that demonstrates how larger incentives lead to worse performance when the task involves higher order thinking skills. More money leads to worse outcomes?!

When it comes to dimensions of thinking, creativity, and innovation, people are motivated by three things: autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Portfolios provide individuals with autonomy because they put each user in control of their learning and professional development. Users can choose portfolio frameworks that speak to their strengths and interests. They control what they post in their portfolio and when to share it. Users can self-reflect and identify gaps without it being a performance issue. Individuals using portfolios are empowered.

Portfolios provide individuals with a sense of mastery because they show constant improvement against criteria that matters. Individuals demonstrate growth by posting evidence against competency categories that were once blank. They will also hear feedback during validation processes that will confirm improvement. Using Competency.io portfolios, users have the opportunity to self-reflect on progress against well-defined criteria in a safe, secure, and non-evaluative way.

Portfolios provide individuals with purpose because their work is seen as contributing to something larger than themselves. They see their work posted against the values of the organization. They can also share artefacts out of their portfolio to contribute to the proliferation of best practices. Lastly, the cumulative nature of the portfolio allows the individual time to step away from the daily grind to see all that they’ve accomplished.

Portfolios work because they address the core tenants of intrinsic motivation. Yet, as Dan Pink points out – there continues to be a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.

Instead of exploring new methods of employee engagement, businesses are integrating software solutions that maintain traditional motivation techniques. Robots and algorithms are tracking performance (or lack of performance) on more levels and more measures than ever before. Then, this data is used in punitive conversations. The result is an overworked, stressed-out, less engaged employee population.

Give your employees autonomy and purpose. Support them in their efforts to achieve mastery. Use Competency.io portfolios to revolutionize motivation in your workplace.


Pink, D. (2009). The puzzle of motivation [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation?utm_campaign=tedspread–a&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare