Career Fest: A global celebration of professional growth and development

Adobe Career Fest.

Mastering the art of intentional growth is one of the key factors that will shape your career journey, and at Adobe, we believe that career growth and development should be celebrated and that employees should be given every opportunity to unlock their full potential. That's why we introduced Career Fest, an internal program dedicated to empowering employees on their unique career journeys. What began in 2020 as a local initiative in the Asia Pacific region has since blossomed into a global program in 2023.

The birth of Career Fest

Career Fest is an annual event that provides employees with the opportunity to step away from their daily tasks and immerse themselves in a diverse line-up of programs focused on career growth and development. Amanda Barnard, director of Learning Culture and Experience, shares, “While the concept of dedicating time to career advancement has existed in various forms, it was in 2020 that the Asia Pacific region introduced the unique Career Fest format. We chose the term "Career Fest" to capture the essence of a dynamic and energetic festival mindset, rather than simply labelling it as a Career Day or Career Week.” The program offered employees an eclectic mix of workshops, career advisory discussions, virtual sessions, mentoring with senior leaders, and guidance on how to navigate career resources with the focus being on employees and their careers.

Adobe Career Fest.

From regional success to global scale

In 2020, the initial plan for Career Fest was to provide a multi-office experience, taking place in Sydney and Singapore. However, due to the unforeseen challenges posed by the pandemic, we had to swiftly adapt and transform the event into a virtual-only experience. Despite this unexpected change, the Asia Pacific Career Fest was a resounding success, with approximately 50 percent of employees getting involved and fuelling our aspirations for future growth.

Building upon the initial success, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region embraced the Career Fest framework in 2021, elevating the event to new heights and setting higher standards for the program moving forward. Last year, our team in India infused their unique energy and spirit into Career Fest, engaging participants with an innovative approach. The culmination of these efforts led to an exciting prospect in 2023 — a company-wide execution of Career Fest across all Adobe locations, fostering learning and inclusivity on a global scale.

The secret to success

While the growth of this program may seem quite natural, Barnard pinpoints a few areas that have been key to success saying, “A vital element that underpins the success of Career Fest is the infusion of joy into every aspect of the program. While we take career growth seriously at Adobe, we firmly believe in not taking ourselves too seriously. We recognize the importance of having fun and creating a positive and enjoyable atmosphere during the event.” By infusing joy into the experience, Career Fest sparks enthusiasm, making skill-building, capability enhancement, and network expansion an enjoyable journey. In 2022, we enjoyed coffee and smoothie huddles, held ‘walk and talk’ peer mentoring sessions and showcased a fun fireside chat with a DJ who performed afterwards. This celebration of careers reflects our commitment to creating a great place to work.

Adobe Career Fest.

Career Fest's journey has been marked by several significant achievements, with the biggest among them being the increase in engagement and participation of employees. By providing a platform where employees have the freedom to choose sessions that align with their interests and aspirations, Career Fest empowers individuals to take ownership of their career development.

“Career Fest is an exciting initiative that I look forward to every year. I have worked in multiple teams in Adobe over the years and have deeply benefited from Career Fest sessions around career management and navigating Adobe’s career growth resources. These sessions helped me immensely to think about my strengths, motivations and aspirations, better understand internal mobility, provide practical steps for taking action, and overall help grow my Adobe career.”

Preksha Sood, Senior Customer Success Manager

Our leaders also play a crucial role in the event's success by sharing their stories with authenticity, vulnerability, and humour. This transparency creates a supportive environment, inspiring employees to fearlessly explore their own career paths.

The unwavering support and enthusiasm displayed by our leaders and employees is truly a remarkable achievement, considering this program’s humble beginnings. Employees everywhere consistently say "yes" when invited to participate, contributing their ideas and suggestions to enhance the program. This collective dedication and involvement demonstrate their pride in working for a company that truly invests in employee career development.

As it continues to evolve and expand, Career Fest exemplifies Adobe's dedication to employees, our greatest asset, and raising the bar by creating an environment where our employees can thrive and reach their full potential.