Stacey Kelly Talks about How Careers are Built Today

Ever feel like you are grasping at straws, in your career?

Where do you find career opportunities and options?

Where do you even begin?



Stacey Kelly sheds some much needed insight in where to begin, and what to do for your career prospects. She shared what she does, and how her company helps professionals find and fast track their careers. Currently, she is the Principal Consultant at Seed People Consulting, and below is her bio.



Stacey Kelly


Passionate about enabling people, unlocking inspiring leadership and building sustainable businesses, Stacey founded Seed People Consulting in early 2014 to partner with organisations to redefine perceptions of HR Consulting. 

With more than 13 years’ experience in specialist and generalist human resources ranging from leadership and career coaching, leadership and team development, the implementation of transformational organisational design to technical specialisation in Employee Relations, Stacey has extensive experience as in-house and consulting HR.





Below is her career insight in how to find and boost your career.


How do successful professionals plan their career today?

What we do with a lot of our clients is create a career strategy. We go through their goals and objectives, in why they want that next role.

It’s not simply about looking up the criteria of a job. More so, we ask them: how does this add value to them, and lead up to their ultimate goal?

What we aim to do is enable them to understand their own objectives.


What sort of strategies are there that help people find career opportunities?

Career strategy today isn’t a cookie cutter. Tailoring strategy to individuals is best, and is what we do for our clients.

The question you should be asking is: know what drives you.

For millennials, work at what you know first. In any job you had before, whether it be at a café, retail shop or family business ask yourself these questions:


What gave me purpose, and why?

What was enjoyable?

Then you can tailor your career plan to ‘you’.


Millennials today are seen as the job hopping extraordinaire generation. What are your views?

Today, employers understand why people change jobs. They don’t expect people to stay with them as before, where lifelong employment was the norm.

Still, they expect a certain level of loyalty. Yes, in your early years you may change jobs every year or so. But the older you get, the expectation is that you will stay with them for a few years.

Depending on the industry and the role, employers will generally want to keep you for a few years, as the investment they took in taking you on and training you up has to be returned at the very least.


How do you grasp career opportunities at work? Any tips for millennials?

It all falls down to engagement. Being considerate of others, and communicating your genuine interest of what you are doing is essential.

You need to communicate what you want, whether it be training or balancing your lifestyle.

Employers also need you to communicate your needs and interest, so that they can tailor workshops or training programs to help you grow. Opportunities arise through engagement and communication.

Say surfing is your thing, and riding a few waves before work makes your day. You need to communicate to your employer that you want to come to work at 9 am, not 7 so that you can feel refreshed throughout the week.  But you also need to be flexible – it’s not just about demanding and receiving; think about how you can best communicate the benefit your employer might gain, by giving you that level of flexibility.


What’s in it for them?


The online world and companies alike label millennials the socially inept. Soft skills are important and in high demand today. How do millennials fare, in your view?

Look, generalisations of groups of people isn’t the whole picture. I’ve met millennials that are amazing at networking and forming relationships. They know the importance of relationships and soft skills too.
On the other side, there are those that see LinkedIn as enough and social media as the way to go.


Employers test for soft skills, so it’s something you have to keep in mind – you can’t ignore the social aspect completely. They test for various skills, and for emotional intelligence. It’s a critical part of succeeding, but you need to look at things holistically. There are other elements, such as fitting into a company’s culture.

Here is her take on the importance of corporate culture.


Culture is the next big thing. What are your thoughts?

Culture is critical from both an employer and employee’s perspective. It benefits both a company and employee’s wellbeing, if there is a match.


Does this mean culture trumps qualifications?

In certain situations, yes. Besides the required qualifications of certain jobs such as engineering, we look more at the person and experience.

We advocate ‘hire for attitude, train for technical skills’. Someone that has the right attitude will fit right in, and be part of that company.

Hiring based on high skill levels won’t mean that person will integrate well into the organisation and be part of an employer’s team.


How can a millennials learn to ‘fit in’ with a company that they want to work at?

I always say be true to yourself. Trying to be a circle peg in a square whole doesn’t work – for you or for the organisation.

Think about your values, and see if they align. It starts with an understanding of yourself, and then you look for matches.


Old school professionals would say looking inside yourself is too cuddly. But today, it is essential if you want to find the right company and role for you. Create your right career strategy and the rest follows.


Social media and its use today by employers is on the rise. What role does social media play in careers today?

Social media is important today. Only about 30% of jobs are advertised, so networking is needed if you want roles where it meets your desires.


And employers can’t read your mind. That is why you need to network and get to know what is being offered.
Besides that, be aware of your personal brand. Employers can and sometimes do look you up on social media, and having inappropriate content for anyone to see isn’t an ideal career strategy. Your personal brand is vital if you want to network and find opportunities.


That is great, as you touched upon the subject of the hidden job market. How can millennials penetrate this market?

Building relationships is vital. Networking on LinkedIn and social media is the start. Ask your contacts if they know someone at the company you want to work for.

You need to be open about what you want. Go through your contacts, network with others and ask this question: “What would I need to get that position?”

You need to ask to find out if you need to obtain new skills, to see how you can meet the need of the role you want.


And I always ask at the end when networking: “Is there anyone else I should talk to?”

Someone else may be able to help or give you clarity in what is required to gain that opportunity you are seeking.


What is overarching here is clarity. What are you willing to do?


Be realistic, and go through your priorities. Having clarity gives you a definitive understanding of your values, and what you are willing to do for your career.


You have vast experience in coaching professionals. What are the traits of successful professionals?

These are some of the things I see in successful professionals:

  • They were true to themselves, and not to the detriment of others.
  • They cared for others; they had empathy.
  • In terms of goals and plans they had for their careers, they were crystal clear.
  • Risks and assumptions such as blind spots were weighted, in what they were trying to achieve.
  • Overall, they were authentic in their relationships and to themselves.
  • And they had strong relationships and networks.


Self-awareness is something you touch upon consistently. It’s essentially part of soft skills, where you know yourself to communicate with others, right?

That is true. We use a diagnostic tool called the Team Management Profile. We use it to enable our clients to increase their self-awareness of their individual work preferences, as well as how to identify different preferences of their colleagues in the workplace. This can then help them in communicating more appropriately, understand why they make decisions differently to other people etc.


By recognising that they have different strengths to bring to the table, as well as acknowledge the strengths of other, we work with clients to understand their values, priorities and passions – this then builds their career strategy through self-awareness.


You mentioned also blind spots and assumptions people make is something successful professionals weigh with care. How can you be aware of blind spots, as they are hard to spot naturally?

Your relationships with others will play a supportive and important role in identifying your strengths and blind spots. People who know you well, and who you respect, are there to talk you through ideas and different ways of working through problems, which can help you overcome your blind spots.

But you have to be open to constructive feedback. It will help you navigate through problems that you face. Naturally, the people who you know well will also know your strengths and weaknesses.


If you had to give millennials one piece of advice for their careers, what would that be?

You need three main things: clarity, purpose and passion.


Clarity is about knowing what drives you, and what you want.

Knowing more about yourself will give way to creating strategy and ultimately purpose in what you do, and the opportunities you want to grasp.

Also it will help channel your energies into things you are passionate about, the more you get to know about yourself.



Thanks Stacey for sharing your career expertise and insight. Check out Seed People Consulting for services that help nurture your career.



What resonated with you? Who do you go to for career insight?

Please share your stories and insight in the comments below.

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