Want fulfilling work? Find your passion.

Want fulfilling work? Find your passion.

By Scott Abbott 

I’m a morning person.

It’s really easy to get out of bed when your day has a purpose. When the work you’re doing actually means something and has the potential to change lives. Yes, we all need to make money. But when you’re fulfilling your passion, when you’re pursuing your dreams, you want to do more than punch the clock. You want to do something great.

I’ve always had this passion — this motivation — to help people build themselves up. I’ve written books, worked with nonprofits and spent a lifetime encouraging the young and old to discover their potential.

Fortunately, I’ve found a business partner, Adrian Jagow, who holds these same views. Adrian is very involved in ministries dedicated to helping underresourced individuals and families, giving them the tools to figure out how to best care for themselves and those around them.

We both really enjoy helping people, and when we realized that we could build a company together that did the good we wanted to see in this world, Talevation was born.

Know thyself

Our goal is to help individuals develop themselves into the people they want to be. The people they were meant to be. But that level of success and development doesn’t happen by accident.

We believe that one of the core tenants of self-improvement is knowing where you are today. If you don’t have a clear understanding of who you are, how you think, how you’re motivated and what you can currently do, it’s hard to take that next step.

Unfortunately, testing has traditionally had a negative connotation. People often think, “You’re testing me because you don’t trust me.”

We want to flip that misconception on its head. We think people should test and assess because they care. Let’s work together to identify what you do well and to help you more confidently know what you should do to pursue personal and professional growth. Use that testing data to generate the knowledge to give you the wisdom to know what you should do.

That’s what we want to do with our Talent Assessments Platform (TAP).

Built with our proprietary code alongside IBM® Watson® Talent and IBM Watson Assistant technology, TAP lets users securely access a number of self-assessment tools associated with over 1,400 job titles and over 28,000 skill criteria. With these tools, users can identify where they stand in a chosen field and if they need to improve on a particular skill or ability. And armed with this knowledge, they can more easily create a plan to develop themselves and become who they want to be.

And rather than restrict this tool to only businesses with an enterprise license, we also let individuals purchase off-the-shelf assessments for less than a good meal.

Look to the future

Beyond those currently employed, we also want to help the next generation find their way. If you do a quick search for career development topics, you’ll find many of them are targeted at Millennials and Baby Boomers — the two largest generations in the workforce. But what we’re failing to realize is that Millennials aren’t the youngest people in the job market anymore.

Generation Z is in the process of finishing their educations and starting their careers, and we need to make sure they’re not overlooked.

We’ve recently launched our new TAP U! service, which works with schools and universities to help students and recent graduates build a growth plan based on proven, scientifically-defensible, sociologically-validated criteria.

We think it’s pretty cool that the same courses that large enterprises and government offices are using to identify, attract, develop and support great talent are also now available to high schoolers. Because if we can help them find their passion, they’ll be better prepared to build a fulfilling career and ultimately provide for their families.

Don’t travel alone

I’m a big believer in partnerships. You do what you do best. We’ll do what we do best. And TAP definitely reflects that philosophy.

For TAP, we didn’t have to do the heavy lifting. We didn’t have to build the database. We didn’t have to build the AI. Instead, we were able to complement that technology with our part — the experience, the coaching and the counseling that we can offer to our clients.

Currently, we have over 4,500 corporate enterprise clients. We do 150,000 – 175,000 assessments every month. We could not do this without IBM’s help. As an IBM Business Partner, we’ve had greater access to the technology we need. And with an IBM Embedded Solutions Agreement (ESA) in place, we can seamlessly merge what we do with what IBM does, providing our users with the tools that can help them be their best.

At Talevation, we like to think big. We’re missional. We’re purpose driven. And we know that for any of us to grow, we need help. We need the knowledge, insight and sometimes strength of others to transform what is into what could be.

By working together, we can more easily fulfill our passions and do something great.

The enterprise guide to closing the skills gap

The enterprise guide to closing the skills gap

Three strategies can help organizations tackle one of their greatest challenges: building and maintaining a skilled workforce.

Arguably, one of the greatest threats facing organizations today is the talent shortage. Executives recognize the skills gap. They know it’s both real and problematic. But most of their organizations don’t appear to be actively or effectively tackling the issue.

We’ve conducted significant research on the topic for years now – and we’ve found many organizations are merely running in place. Ironically, although executives recognize the significant threat the talent shortage poses, most organizations have not proactively attacked the problem. In fact, our research reveals that the vast majority have not moved beyond traditional hiring and training strategies.

Skilled humans fuel the global economy

Throughout economic history, talented humans have been a source of innovation and advancement – their skills the impetus for economic growth. Today, however, multiple factors, including continued – and rapid – technological developments and business and operating model innovation, have contributed to market shifts that are redefining industries.

Combined with various economic and market disruptions, as well as significant demographic shifts in many countries, these factors have created a perfect storm that is affecting the value of, need for, and availability of workforce skills. The result is a looming global talent shortage with the power to severely impact individuals and economies worldwide.

Skills availability and quality are in jeopardy

The skills challenge will not dissipate; in fact, it’s increasing in severity. Global labor markets are only tightening, as unemployment rates continue to decline. Compounding the issue, new skills requirements continue to emerge, while other skills are becoming obsolete. And while digital skills remain vital, executives tell us soft skills have surpassed them in importance.

Amid all this, the half-life of skills continues to shrink, while the time it takes to close a skills gap has ballooned. As organizations scramble to meet their talent needs, many are making adjustments to their education and experience requirements just to fill roles. Organizations must find ways to stay ahead of skills relevancy.

Intelligent automation is an economic game changer

As business platforms mature and companies continue to introduce new intelligent workflows to succeed on those platforms, the need for continuous reskilling in the workforce will be paramount to remain competitive. Executives recognize that advances in intelligent automation will bring multiple benefits. At the same time, they also realize millions of workers may require retraining/reskilling.

Hiring alone is not a sustainable solution to the talent crisis. Successfully navigating this new environment requires fundamentally reshaping how organizations manage skills, talent, and culture.

How can organizations help close the gap?

In this report, we offer a roadmap to guide executives toward action to address this critical issue. Our recommendations are based on insights from multiple IBM Institute for Business Value research initiatives, including surveys of thousands of global executives representing multiple industries in dozens of countries, as well as performance benchmarking data from hundreds of organizations globally.

Through research and analysis, we discovered certain skills development tactics that have a strong impact on closing skills gaps. We have crafted a set of key recommendations that leverage the common principles of these tactics as a foundation: personalization at scale, increased transparency, and leveraging the ecosystem. These recommendations leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to assist organizations in closing skills-related gaps.

Download the full report

Meet the authors: Annette La Prade, Global Deployment Lead, Performance Data and Benchmarking, IBM Institute for Business Value; Janet Mertens, Global HR Research Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value; Tanya Moore, Partner, Talent and Transformation, IBM Global Business Services; Amy Wright, Managing Partner, Talent and Transformation, IBM Global Business Services

American Workers Concerned About Future Skills but Embrace Technology

American Workers Concerned About Future Skills but Embrace Technology

“American workers are concerned about having the necessary skills to compete in the future workforce, according to new research by Prudential. Less than half of workers (46%) surveyed believe they have the skills they’ll need to compete in the workforce a decade from now, according to the Pulse of the American Worker survey.

While skilling may be an issue, workers in the survey are not concerned about technology—they’re embracing it. Despite recent narratives about technology replacing people, workers see more potential benefits to technology than downsides. They largely believe technology saves them time (78%), helps automate redundant tasks (74%) and drives growth for their company (67%). Less than a quarter (23%) believe technology will replace their job in five years. “

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