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Caela Farren, Ph.D. is President and Tom Karl is Vice President of MasteryWorks, Inc., Career Development Experts for over 30 years. MasteryWorks builds integrated career systems that align talent with business needs; help leaders and managers engage, develop, and retain their people; and empower employees to take charge of their careers. MasteryWorks solutions (which include consulting, leader and employee training, web portals, and assessments) create the foundation for impactful "career conversations" centered around increased contribution and performance, alignment of talent, increased retention, engagement, and career fit.

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A Foundation for Career Conversations:
Career Development Portals

by Tom Karl, and Caela Farren, Ph.D., MasteryWorks, Inc.


"Career Portals bring fresh information that is user-friendly 24/7"

    One of the most effective ways to facilitate career development conversations is through information provided in Career Development Portals. Employees want to know “what counts” for career success in an unstable world. Managers are so busy coping with change, they need all the help they can get to guide and keep their best resources. A career development portal can help both employees and managers concentrate on what’s most important to talk about regarding strategic business goals and individual career aspirations. Both can come to this on-line resource for helpful tips on having powerful career conversations. With the right guidance from HR professionals and C-Suite leaders, our Career Portals bring fresh information that is user-friendly, 24/7, with the look and feel of the organization – their words, their branding, and their key issues front and center.

  • Employees want career information – check-out your recent employee engagement survey or exit interview data and see what you’re employees say. All employees want access to career information and resources 24/7. Employees want interactive self-discovery tools to assess their progress and to align themselves with opportunities. They want to know how to keep their jobs safe; the best way to stay employed. What can they do to protect their jobs and their families? They want to have a conversation about the best way to look for jobs and career opportunities. They want to know how management assesses their performance and on what competencies... How can they be better prepared for fulfilling careers? Employees want to know about the resources that allow them to develop so that they can add more value and be viable candidates for their career aspirations in the future. They want links to broader and increased networking opportunities, access and visibility with key leadership, management and stakeholders. Career Portals provide information and links to all of these resources.
  • Managers need and want career conversations– they want to know how to host effective career conversations. Many managers need to build their skills, but don’t know how. They want career resources and tools for support. They want to have conversations about methodology and a process for career coaching, a roadmap for success when guiding their direct reports. Online portals offer career-coaching tips and offer managers answers to tough questions.  Managers need a place to send employees to learn more about themselves, the organization, and their aspirations in order to promote effective career discussion. Career Portals present these resources 24/7 to all employees.
  • Organizations need and want career development conversations to help gain competitive advantage. Portals offer organizations a variety of avenues for opening up conversations with employees and managers.  The information gleaned from Portals provides direction to increase skill development and knowledge in core technical and functional areas. Portals improve the confidence and skill for managers/ leaders to host effective career and development discussions and make it easier to distribute career information to the broader workforce quickly, across space and time – 24/7 in a cost-effective way.

Our Customized Career Portals May Include:
Message from the president
Key professions required to support the mission
Trends in the industry that impact careers
Self-assessment tools for employees
Coaching tools for managers
Job Families
Career Paths
& Competencies


  •     At MasteryWorks, Inc. we have customized over 100 Career Portals that contain different information based on timely, relevant organization needs. These include:

  • Messages from the president on why “career development” is important at a particular time;
  • Key professions required to support the mission;
  • Trends in the industry that impact careers;
  • Self-assessment tools for employees that help them discover their values, interests, skills, etc.;
  • Coaching tools for managers on how best to facilitate conversations about careers;
  • Job families that are growing or shrinking;
  • Career paths and competency information.

    The information on the sites varies according to the specific then-current needs of the organization, such as retention, downsizing, growth opportunities, employee engagement, redeployment, industry needs, etc. Here are a few examples of the sites which support those themes:

Career Portal Examples

screenshots of career portals

    MasteryWorks was one of the first companies to design and use on-line career portals aimed at organizations, managers and employees to facilitate conversations about careers. We employ carefully crafted models and visuals that quickly communicate key career development concepts. MasteryWorks has always experienced robust usage that has produced reporting information, allowing us to update, integrate and track employee engagement and other key management success measures. It is one of the most effective tools for career development conversations. For example, our Career Initiative Assessment demonstrates fifteen critical areas for career success. It provides a diverse set of recommendations for taking action and it’s linked to both American and European users.

    Masteryworks’ Career Portals have been skillfully designed and successfully used by thousands of employees and managers, driving improved employee engagement, increased productivity, development and retention. Driven and integrated from larger talent management strategies, our career portals provide a career development framework through a wide range of self assessment and management tools. They optimize the ability of organizations to communicate key messages, roles, responsibilities, and benefits. They maximize the range of options that managers can employ to effectively recognize and mentor talents and interests of their staff members.  A Career Portal is a perfect tool for employees to increase their self-awareness, skills, and career accountability.

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