ICCDPP 2017: The World’s Career Development Think Tank

Imagine a hall filled by a selection of leading thinkers and doers, sharing ideas, challenges, professional practices, and national policies reflecting their nations’ aspirations for educational and labour market outcomes. They all met in Seoul at the 8th Symposium of International Centre for Career Development Public Policy (ICCDPP), hosted by the the Republic of Korea’s Department of Education and KRIVET.  Evidently, career development is high on the agenda of many nations seeking to improve the employability of their citizens.

This ICCDPP 2017 coordinated the presentations and deliberations of 26 countries represented by Country Teams made of no less than 120 delegates.  Their deliberations were planned into an action-packed agenda.  This was no talk fest. Country Teams worked with one another and then crossed over into blended teams to formulate strategies and Action Plans for their respective countries.

Widening the Scope

Unemployment and underemployment are a scourge of international proportion that have devastating effects on health and well-being (Kossen & McIlveen, 2017). Knowing the destructive effects of the lack of decent work, the delegates described the usefulness of career development services for adults aiming to enter the labour market or transition from one job to another.  Career development services are proven to be effective and necessary for youngsters making career decisions about their futures (Whiston, Li, Goodrich Mitts, & Wright, 2017).  Preparing for their transitions from learning to earning is vital and their socio-economic prosperity and to a sustainable labour force.  In all nations, there is a pressing need for policies and programs for transitions throughout the whole of life, from formal schooling to retirement.

ICCDPP Country Teams’ Action Plans

In the coming weeks, Countries Teams will share their Action Plans with fellow delegates and key stakeholders in their homelands.  Their Action Plans will signal an international agreement emphasizing the benefits of career development services to individuals, their communities, and the productive industry sectors in which they work. Stay tuned for more updates.

The ICCDPP delegates were treated with extraordinary courtesy. The Korean hosts offered glorious hospitality and respect for peoples from other parts of the world. Hosts of the next symposium of the ICCDPP, the 9th, would do well to learn from Korea’s format and experiences.

The Key Messages

With such a diverse array of participants and topics from across the globe, it is necessary to condense the findings into a short and precise message: The Communique 2017

This year’s Communique captures several important themes.  One theme close to ACCELL’s interests is employability.  Read the Communique with your own nation in mind.  Consider the issues, trends, and consider how employability intersects with these important dimensions of your industry.

References

Kossen, C., & McIlveen, P. (2017). Unemployment from the perspective of the psychology of working. Journal of Career Development, 0(0). doi: doi:10.1177/0894845317711043

Whiston, S. C., Li, Y., Goodrich Mitts, N., & Wright, L. (2017). Effectiveness of career choice interventions: A meta-analytic replication and extension. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 100, 175-184. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2017.03.010

A-GRADES is Live!

The Round 1 A-GRADES questionnaire is now live and awaiting student and graduate participants from any degree or discipline both domestic or international. Access to the online A-GRADES questionnaire can be found here. It takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation is vital for the construction, validation, and production of this personal employability measure.

Project Aim

The project A-GRADES (Australian Graduates Employability Scale) aims to create a career development tool specific to the Australian higher education context. Now under construction by the R&D team at ACCELL, A-GRADES is designed for students and graduates, university personnel (e.g., career practitioners, work-integrated learning specialists), and researchers across academic fields. The project is funded by Graduate Careers Australia as part of GCA’s Graduate Research Program.

A-GRADES Data Collection-Round 1

Cross area, pan-university collaboration is vital for the three sequential stages of national data collection beginning with the Round 1 questionnaire. This breadth will ensure that sampling accounts for age, discipline, gender, and other data that may be used to test for measurement invariance and assure normative representation where practicable. The project has received ethical clearance from the host institution, University of Southern Queensland.

Rationale

A-GRADES is intended to assess personal qualities related to career self-management and employment. Aside from competency based appraisals of a graduates’ knowledge and skills, research demonstrates factors such as self-efficacy, proactivity, and adaptability influence employability of graduates and their chance of securing decent work–and this is where ACCELL is focused on making a difference. These characteristic adaptations that improve a person’s chances of working in a good job can be learned. For example, one of the most important factors is self-efficacy that is associated with well-defined job search strategies that target the “right job” not just “any job”. Professional career development practitioners know about these strategies and how to develop their clients’ self-efficacy.  Our R&D will sharpen the tools for improving their effectiveness and positive impact.

Practical Applications

A package of online training modules will be developed and delivered to nominated staff of universities and their Career Services.  This training will ensure that the end-users (e.g., students and graduates) obtain optimal utility from A-GRADES (e.g., in career development interventions, coursework). Therefore, A-GRADES may be used within learning activities that develop students’ career management knowledge and skills, and their preparations for employment.  A-GRADES will become a useful tool for Student Services’ personnel who are involved in students’ career development, work-integrated learning, and employment.

We will provide regular updates on the ACCELL website about the project A-GRADES and professional development opportunities.  Access to the online A-GRADES questionnaire can be found here.

Further Information:

Please make contact with the project coordinator, Dr Allison Creed, if you need further information about the project and A-GRADES. Allison.Creed@usq.edu.au

Writing and Telling a Career Story

Stories are universal. Cultures include stories; cultures are stories-incomplete stories, always evolving. Every person has a story; a person is a story-an incomplete story, always evolving. At their confluence, the stories of cultures manifest through individuals, and individuals express themselves through the stories of their cultures.  As such, one is a story of the other, with each reflecting one another.  Indeed, on this planet, there are seven billion stories and counting, incomplete and always evolving, as diverse as all the peoples on earth, yet, somehow humanely very similar to one another.  How these many stories are told, heard, and created is very much the domain of counselling. Continue reading

Cool Tools for Career Practitioners

Career development interventions that are relevant, engaging, and accessible are better for supporting individuals’ progress toward their goals.  Career development resources have been used for decades to support people to understand their career needs, explore available career opportunities, make career decisions, and assist career practitioners in build rapport with clients.  Things have changed a bit.  “Back in the day” career practitioners used encyclopedic books that listed occupations and their tasks, responsibilities, and qualifications (e.g., The Job Guide). With exponential change–automation, massification, globalization–we are now in a very different world and career development tools have suddenly gotten cool (in my opinion at least)!

Engaging Career Development Resources

Recently, I was privileged to present “Engaging Career Development Resources” workshop at the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) national conference. It was fantastic to see locals and delegates from interstate and overseas coming together to learn about practical, engaging career development resources that can be used with a diversity of clients in a constantly changing career landscape.  In the workshop, I shared a list of Career Resources that can be used to support clients understand the plethora of opportunities and the necessary skills, qualifications, and experiences, they may need to meet their career potentials.

Youth unemployment is at an all time high, and so are change and innovation. It has never been more important to support the members of our various communities to develop their understandings of themselves, the changing world of work, and the opportunities for their futures. I hope you can make good use of these Career Resources to make a difference for your students and clients, and yourself.

Carolyn Alchin, Career Development Practitioner. twitter: @Careermumcaro

 

CDAA Keynote Speakers Podcast

The Career Development Association of Australia brought four keynote speakers to its 2017 annual conference of members and industry bodies.  Listen to brief interviews with Dr Ryan Duffy, Dr Ann Villiers, Dr Peter McIlveen, and Ms Marayke Jonkers, to learn more about their ideas for the field of career development.

Psychology of Working

ACCELL International Fellow, Dr Ryan Duffy, and ACCELL Research Director, Dr Peter McIlveen, emphasize issues associated with the psychology of working, decent work, unemployment, and evidence-based practice.


Acknowledgement: Thanks to CDAA Communications Officer, Georgia Kelly-Bakker, who recorded and produced the podcast.

Data Collections

ACCELL is currently collecting survey data for several research projects.  Please contribute to our work by completing one or more of the data collection sites linked below.

A-GRADES

The project A-GRADES (Australian Graduates Employability Scale) aims to create a career development tool for students and graduates. It is intended that the tool be used to ascertain personal qualities related to career management and employment. Also, the tool may be used within learning activities that develop students’ career management knowledge and skills, and their preparations for employment. The tool will be useful to students, graduates, and university staff (e.g., career practitioners, work-integrated learning specialists). If you are a current university student or a university graduate of any degree then please enter the A-GRADES survey site here.

Decent Work and Location

The notion of “decent work” refers to fair, safe, and equitable conditions of employment as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This project will contribute to that international study and also explore a range of factors, such as psychological flexibility, career adaptability, decent work, meaningfulness of work, work engagement, place attachment, and job satisfaction, that influence the wellbeing and retention of workers in non-metropolitan areas of Australia. If you are a current university student or a university graduate of any degree then please enter the survey site here.

Unemployment is Psychologically Destructive

The Psychology of Unemployment

ACCELL’s research into unemployment focuses on its social and psychological impacts on people who want to work but have no work or insufficient work to get by in life.  More importantly, ACCELL’s research and development is focused on determining and developing social and psychological resources that better enable individuals’ employability to survive, connect with one another, and live happier, productive lives.

Kossen McIlveen 2017 front page

Research recently published by ACCELL in the Journal of Career Development (Kossen & McIlveen, 2017) reveals a new and important perspective on unemployment.  The findings of this research show that unemployment can be understood in terms of the Psychology of Working Theory (Duffy, Blustein, Diemer, & Autin, 2016).

“I’m delighted to read about important research emerging from the psychology of working framework. Congrats to and colleagues.” Professor David Blustein, Boston College, USA.

Psychological Factors that Remediate Employability

The research demonstrates factors that may worsen a person’s chance of securing decent work. More importantly, the research pinpoints psychological factors that may also improve a person’s chances of getting decent work–and this is where ACCELL is focused on making a difference.  These so-called characteristic adaptations that improve a person’s chances of working in a good job can be learned.  For example, one of the most important factors is self-efficacy associated with well defined job search strategies that target the “right job” not just “any job”.  The “any job” strategy is a recipe for poor outcomes–despite what some politicians may say.  Professional career development practitioners (e.g., Career Development Association of Australia) know about these strategies and how to develop their clients’ self-efficacy.  Our R&D will sharpen the tools for improving their effectiveness and positive impact.

References

Duffy, R. D., Blustein, D. L., Diemer, M. A., & Autin, K. L. (2016). The psychology of working theory. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63(2), 127-148. doi: 10.1037/cou0000140

Kossen, C., & McIlveen, P. (2017). Unemployment from the perspective of the psychology of working. Journal of Career Development, doi: 10.1177/0894845317711043.


This blog article is an extract from:

Kossen, C., & McIlveen, P. (2017). Unemployment from the perspective of the psychology of working. Journal of Career Development, doi:10.1177/0894845317711043.

A copy of the published version is available from the journal’s site or an “author pre-print version” is available at Peter McIlveen’s ResearchGate site.

Teacher Personality Profiles

The profession school teacher is as much rewarding as it is challenging. Our research into teachers’ careers reveals how their personalities influence their professional confidence (i.e., self-efficacy), engagement in their classrooms, and overall job satisfaction.   ACCELL researchers are aiming to discover if their are specific “profiles” associated with their confidence, engagement, and job satisfaction. This is important research because it provides  insights into how teachers manage their careers and, more importantly, which psychological factors may support their career longevity.

A sample of our research was presented at the most recent conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) held in San Antonio, Texas, USA, which is the largest meeting of educational researchers in the world.  The figure below provides a summary of our presentation at AERA 2017.  Stay tuned for the publications that will report on the wider research outcomes.

AERA 2017 Poster

 

4E-cognition: Exploring thought, feeling, & action in career behaviour

What is 4E-cognition?

In recent years a new way of looking at the notion of cognition has gained ground, often labelled as 4E-cognition (embodied, enacted, embedded, and extended cognition). The basic claim is that cognition cannot be reserved to individual processes inside the head (and body) only; rather cognition is seen as “a doing”; it is something people do in their active and explorative sense-making with the bio-social environment. Thus, an ecological turn is on its way within cognitive science that seeks to explore thought, feeling, and action as inter-related dimensions of an agent-environment system.  ACCELL is now applying this new research paradigm to career development.Career images Continue reading

A Measure of Decent Work

ACCELL has partnered with other researchers to establish an international benchmark measure of “decent work”.  We wish to better understand your experiences of decent work as it relates to where you live.

Please support our research by completing the Online Survey.

The notion of “decent work” refers to fair, safe, and equitable conditions of employment as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This project will contribute to that international study and also explore a range of factors, such as psychological flexibility, career adaptability, decent work, meaningfulness of work, work engagement, place attachment, and job satisfaction, that influence the wellbeing and retention of workers in non-metropolitan areas of Australia. Continue reading