New site to help staff drive their careers

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Following feedback from the last staff survey, the BBC has launched an internal careers support website.

It aims to help BBC workers make contacts, improve their CVs and develop their job interview technique.

Roger Coles, from the BBC College of Leadership, told Ariel: "In the staff survey, there was a very strong, clear message that people wanted more from the BBC in terms of support […] So there are people saying I love working here, I want to have a career here but it's not very clear to me how I can get on."

The most common staff concern was being unaware of who to talk to about getting new opportunities.

Coles explains: "People were saying they knew where they wanted their next move to be but they didn't know who to talk to about making that happen. There's a feeling of I can't just walk up to the producer of programme x and start chatting to see if I can get on their team."

Whose responsibility?

The new site includes tips for setting up profiles on the LinkedIn networking site and even encourages staff to spend ten minutes a day "bumping into" people, as face-to-face contact can achieve much more than emails.

Doctor Who crew around Tardis The website gives tips on regenerating careers

Career coaching is also available for those in leadership or management roles.

Coles adds that there is a lot more ambition among the workforce but there is also more demand than supply when it comes to vacancies or other opportunities.

Cutbacks have reduced the number of jobs and increased the competition for them. In other words, staff need all the help they can get.

"One of the things we found is there's a lack of clarity around responsibility - whose job is it to manage my career? Quite a lot of people were looking to the BBC to manage their career - this view of, 'If I've been around long enough then I should automatically get the next job in that career path'. But I guess the BBC's not necessarily as simple as that.

"A lot has changed in the world of work, it's a more volatile place so it's not as predictable as it used to be."

Take the driver's seat

Coles says attitudes and expectations differ "hugely" among staff.

"If you look at Future Media staff, the nature of their work and the digital technologies means it's in their DNA to be very pro-active… In other areas, like in some parts of Radio or News, it's not as mobile and the people in those roles don't necessarily have the same alternatives internally and externally.

Start Quote

For the BBC, it's about making sure we've got enough movement and ability”

End Quote Roger Coles BBC College of Leadership

"They've still got the aspiration and ambition but they're in more of a static environment, where people historically have tended not to think these things through and come up with their own answers.

"They are perhaps the areas where people might expect someone to lay out a career path for them and say this is what we're going to do, almost as if they're a passenger, whereas I think this [website] is more about saying you're the driver."

He adds that those with less experience at the BBC also may have a more realistic expectation of the wider job market, and therefore are likely to be more self-reliant.

But the new site aims to motivate both staff who are feeling stuck as well as those for whom it's second nature to use career resources.

Coles adds: "For the BBC, it's about making sure we've got enough movement and ability around the place so that we get the most talented, capable people in the jobs."

  • The Careers Support site is available on Gateway here

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