One of our best 2016 theses was on Career capital by Rikesh Amarlal

Career capital as an enabler to an ambidextrous approach for inter-industry career transitioning

By: Rikesh Amarlal



The turbulent global economy brought about by commodity price meltdowns, technological advances and a combination of collapsing, amalgamating and restructuring of industries has given rise to a complex and uncertain business environment in which the knowledge worker strives to remain employed within. This compels the knowledge worker to guard against potential unemployment by having the ability to translate their career capital across an industry and in the process developing career resilience that enhances sustainable employment. By understanding how individuals have transitioned their career capital across industries provides the back drop into how this feat could potentially be achieved. A qualitative research study with an exploratory design was conducted to provide the granularity necessary to understand how individuals transitioned their careers across industries. To gain unique insights into how individuals? were able to make such career transition, fifteen face to face, semi-structured in-depth interviews were held with purposely selected individuals that have transitioned more than one industry and currently hold executive roles within their organisations. The insights from these interviews formed the basis of the data that was analysed through a combination of content and thematic analysis to elucidate the research findings of this study. The research study recognised, with greater understanding, the components of career capital that enabled knowledge workers to transition their career across an industry and how these specific components of career capital were acquired. A frame work, underpinned by ambidexterity, was developed for knowledge workers to consider when deciding to undertake an inter-industry career transition. The importance of possessing vast amounts of self-awareness, contextual intelligence and business acumen facilitate adaptability of career capital to a new industry. The research findings may assist the knowledge worker to better manage their careers by building career resilience against uncertain business environments by considering the frame work as an approach to using career capital that enables an ambidextrous approach to inter industry career transitioning.