The Crafted Career Programmes

The Crafted Career Programmes

verb. To make or produce with care, skill or ingenuity” (Merriam-Webster)

Job or Career Crafting is the process of aligning your work with your skills, values and strengths – deciding what’s really important and finding ways to do more of it. Research links career crafting to better performance, higher motivation and higher employee engagement levels. A win-win for employees and organisations.

A shakeup (or a year like 2020…and 2021) can be the ideal opportunity to kickstart this process.

When Covid-19 reached New Zealand and we went into our first ever countrywide lockdown in 2020, our hearts went out to the many people who the media told us were to lose their jobs. So we prepared for an increase in career transition/outplacement support work – a highly regarded support package that we offer our clients to ensure any exiting employees are treated with dignity.

Then we started to realise that many organisations just couldn’t afford to pay for the support their staff were needing at this time, so we wanted to find a way to provide more easily accessible & cost-effective support without compromising our standards and our personal touch/tailoring of programmes to meet personal needs. We didn’t want a faceless online programme that left people on their own to struggle through during this highly emotional and challenging time.

Enter Kathryn from careerbalance who was thinking along similar lines, and so our collaboration was born. Our aim was to produce supportive, practical, evidence-based online learning content with the ability to connect to a Career Coach for personalised coaching sessions as well as small group support clinics that people could connect into for group coaching.

The result – The Crafted Career Programmes – a tool that benefits people at all stages of their career, who are at decision points in their career, or who just want to spend some time reflecting on how their career is tracking, not just those facing job loss.

As a result of the covid lockdowns, many people are reflecting on what they really want out of their careers and lives. Flexible working and work-life balance aren’t dirty words anymore, they are becoming more accepted and prevalent. In fact, many employer brands push the flexible working theme, knowing that potential candidates are seeking balance in their lives.

The Crafted Career Programmes supports people to work through what’s really important to them:

  • what they are good at
  • what they enjoy most in their work
  • what their strengths are
  • what their key values are
  • and then how to make career decisions based on these

It’s common for people to know that they’re not enjoying every aspect of their work, but it’s also common for their thinking to jump from dissatisfaction to “I need to leave this organisation.” Our programme focusses on thinking through all options before getting to this point, giving structure to test thinking and work out what you really want in the future.

Some of the more practical components of the programme are:

  • practical tips for building a great CV
  • preparing for job interviews
  • how to seek feedback
  • connecting and networking
  • building resilience

So why should you encourage your staff to do a career programme?

We typically deliver this work for a number of reasons:

  • Restructuring and change is happening in the business and career transition support is provided to those impacted by the changes – either to prepare for internal selection processes or to look for roles outside of the business
  • Employers want to give their team the opportunity to drive their own career, look at skills they want to develop and new experiences they are looking for. This generally leads to more satisfying career steps within the organisation, not a surge in people leaving as is normally assumed.
  • Individuals know they want something different, something is not working for them, they aren’t challenged or may have a challenging relationship with colleagues, but aren’t sure where to start.

If you or your people are at any of these career decision points, please get in touch or check out The Crafted Career Programmes at

Empowering Performance Together

Empowering Performance Together

You’ll notice that we’ve recently updated our website. We were excited about it, and not just because it’s shiny and new with stunning (eek!) photos. At the same time, we explored our values and our purpose – something we would normally do with clients as part of our coaching work. It was a challenging journey but so valuable for our business.

It can be difficult to clearly articulate what we do at Vargo + Lewis. The main reason for this is that what we offer is so diverse. One thing is easy to articulate though – it’s all about people.

“Empowering Performance Together” sums it up.

With our coaching philosophy at the heart of everything we do, the statement Empowering Performance Together really sums it up.

Sometimes we work with individuals – career coaching and planning, providing support during and following redundancy, or coaching leaders and business owners to develop themselves and their people.

Sometimes we work with teams – profiling and developing teams, helping people work more effectively together, improving self-awareness as well as awareness of team members drivers, and working through conflict within teams

Sometimes we work with organisations – providing insights through using survey tools or interviews, ensuring the right systems are in place for their people, in-house learning and development courses, reviewing workplace culture and supporting change processes.

Sometimes these all overlap, and we deal at all levels within the same organisation. See why it’s so hard to articulate? Whatever we do, our goal is always to empower our clients, individuals, teams and organisations, to thrive and be successful.

“Trusted Partner” is the common theme of feedback we receive.

We aim to work as a trusted, independent, knowledgeable business partner providing customised solutions to people challenges. It is great that this is the feedback we get. We love that our amazing clients care about their people and their businesses.

Let us know what’s happening with your people and how we might be able to help.