From the ALCHEMISTS – the year that was.

As we run towards Christmas the ALCHEMY year ends on a positive note; most of our work this year has been forward and growth oriented. Formed almost ten years ago ALCHEMY focused on career transition and, counter to the traditional model, we ensured all participants received full support, regardless of seniority or time in their organisation. With this and a suite of new innovations, I guess we were disruptive before it was a thing. Now with strong economic conditions and business confidence, leadership coaching has taken over as the primary way we have helped businesses transition this year.

There is however that air of uncertainty in what is being called the 4th industrial revolution. We constantly hear about ‘digital disruption’, AI, the future of work and the gig economy but no-one is entirely sure what it all means for us as individuals. Our observation is that HR are now being asked to focus on anticipating the impact of further change, agile teams, activity based working and advanced technologies, all with an ageing population. In response, ALCHEMY is being asked by our accounts to identify leaders with the potential to succeed in this environment and to provide these leaders with the tools and resources they need to transform their teams.

Similarly there is recognition that organisations must create work environments where workers can be at their best. Global mental health and chronic health condition statistics repeatedly show that employee wellness must be an integral component of business and HR strategy. 10 years ago Wellness initiatives were novel and largely physically focused (remember pedometers?). Now, it’s an expectation that organisations have a Wellness program. In our 7th year of Wellness@Work®, including 2 years of research, we have discovered the elements that differentiate those companies that are having a tangible and sustained impact on the staff. This has inspired our focus on robust diagnostics to ensure that organisational wellness efforts are appropriately targeted to the evolving needs of employees and lead to measurable impact.

Heading into a new year, here are some thoughts and ideas to facilitate a stimulating 2019 for you and your career:


Be curious and open to learning new things. What impact will technology have on you and your role? AI will still require human input and can’t replace the soft skills of a high quality human interaction. Some jobs will be impacted and many will have to adapt. What can you do to get ahead of the trend and adapt now?


What your transferable skills? How can you build on these, leverage these and develop others. These are critical assets that boost your career agility and your resilience to changing market forces.


We find that the word ‘networking’ evokes a vision of a smooth talking ‘Jerry Maguire’ type of activity. This is a misconception.

The value is simply in connecting with people that you know in your organisation and across you’re broader network. Genuine catch ups to stay in touch and to learn more about people and what they’re doing. Not “show me the money”. Now is the time to take charge of your career and connect internally and externally to be across all of the ideas and opportunities around you.

For organisations, it’s time to revisit career management with an age-neutral perspective. We observe an avoidance in addressing generational labour issues which creates more uncertainty for employees and employers. We see a wonderful opportunity in 2019 to go the other way with open and constructive conversations with all staff about their careers.

Finally, we sincerely wish that you and yours a wonderful season and look forward to another stimulating 2019!

PS - If you need a survival guide check out the 6 cylinders of wellness [you’re welcome]