Mosaic careers – New opportunities for shaping careers and challenges for managers

The world of work is undergoing fundamental change. This change is driven by at least two factors. Firstly, megatrends such as demographic change, globalization and digitalization are leading to new methods of working within companies and creating new tasks for them. To ensure they can respond quickly to future market opportunities and risks, they therefore need to become more agile and more flexible – including as regards their HR structure.

Secondly, even today, (potential) employees are more demanding and often expect more from theirwork than just a regular income. Young people in particular bring new career ideas into companies. The traditional, long-practiced career culture of “reaching for the top” is a thing of the past. Self-determined, meaningful work is now more important. HR departments, employees and especially managers must actively shape this transformation.

A guest commentry by Sophia von Rundstedt, CEO of talent and career consultancy firm von Rundstedt


How the mosaic career is revolutionizing the world of work

To successfully cope with these requirements, companies need to develop a new concept for careers. In future, careers will be more open and diverse, resembling a mosaic of different tasks, functions and assignments as experts and managers. Temporary assignments in project teams are also possible. We therefore refer to “mosaic careers” as the career model of the future. Individuals select their work assignments according to the current stage of their life and their own interests. Breaks in their curriculum vitae are no longer viewed negatively, as they promote the development of new skills and often even help discover unused talents.

This new approach requires employees to assume greater responsibility for their careers and to regularly address their interests and talents. For companies, transparency takes top priority. Existing talents must be identified within the company and communicated across departmental boundaries. Employees must also know what career opportunities exist and how they can develop as individuals.


The role of managers in the careers mosaic

The situation involves a fundamental change in managers’ roles: They become “servers of the team”. Specifically, this means that they must encourage their employees, offer them development opportunities and give them freedom to help shape the company. Here, it is important for them to have trust in their own employees and strengthen their sense of personal responsibility. As sparring partners and career coaches, managers support individual careers, identify existing potential and consult with other departments to find the right individuals for the respective positions.

We can see that managers today (still) do not envisage themselves as having this role, preferring to “hoard” talents within their own teams or departments instead of allowing them to be used meaningfully within the company. This makes cooperation with HR even more important: Human Resources must train managers to become career coaches and make them aware of their new role. This also includes showing them how they can use a strategic, long-term career management process to satisfy employees’ wishes and talents while at the same time contributing to achieving company objectives.


Well equipped for the future

If companies fail to adapt to the new situation, they risk losing valuable talent. In future, managers, employees and HR must work together more closely as a team in order to enable employees to follow individual careers and apply their talents meaningfully.

You can read more on the mosaic career in our book “Denkmuster für die Mosaikkarriere” (Paradigm for the Mosaic Career).

sophia von rundstedtSophia von Rundstedt is leading the family enterprise von Rundstedt as CEO and sole Managing Director. Ms von Rundstedt is a fully qualified legal professional and took over leadership of the family enterprise with 300 employees as sole Managing Director in 2011. She has joined her father’s company as a client consultant in 2003 and has gradually taken on more responsibility.



Photo Credit: von Rundstedt

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