This is the first in a short series of seven postings, which are all aimed at addressing some of the reasons why a new approach to career management and development is required. These brief statements will once again be written from the Integrative Life Planning (ILP) perspective, as it offers some invaluable insight and offers workable solutions to the management of change. In terms of the approach to be taken, you will realise that what is about to follow, is not limited to the interaction between career counselling clients and their counsellors, but also has a direct bearing on how organisations and employees (i.e. working individuals) have to think about effective and appropriate career management strategies of their employees or themselves respectively.
The golden thread running through each discussion, is the concept of CHANGE – to quote an unknown source, change has become the only constant! To continue thinking that changes in global and national scenarios have no impact on people’s lives on a fundamental level, is dangerous self-deception! Change is pervasive and its impact is seen from the top level of corporations, down to single-income households.
Within this context of change and associated uncertainty, the way we think about jobs, careers, occupations, and professions, needs to be amended to stay in tune with global trends. Further to this, it is only logical to state that career choice, planning and development cannot be dealt with in the same way as before. Since change is ever-present, also within the context of societies within which people live and work, the need for a new career choice and management paradigm is undeniable. New strategies are thus required to address challenges associated with the shift that taking is taking place from self to society.
Regardless of one’s position or role within society, the need to stay abreast of these changing contexts cannot be over-emphasised. Without going into any detail, I think all will agree that the world as a whole is seeing change in all aspects of which society is constituted:
· Families are changing and there is no longer a “typical” family constitution;
· Education is changing: Globally and locally there are pervasive changes seen in the context of general, further and higher education; traditional education models are constantly being challenged and adapted or replaced;
· Leisure: ways in which people choose to relax, are changing;
· Technology: Large-scale technological advancement forms part of the changing face of society; the application of technology to all spheres of life is ever-increasing and has to be factored into any form of career planning and development;
· Politics: Globally, political systems from all side of the spectrum are being challenged; this also impacts the way societies function;
· Demographic changes: Significant demographic changes are reported on a global scale; this includes issues such as gender, age, income, education, living standards, psychographics (attitudes, lifestyles, values, opinions, etc.);
· Climate change: the issues of climate change and its impact on natural and human systems cannot be ignored, as it is causing a significant impact on the ways in which society functions.
What are the IMPLICATIONS of the above for organisational and individual career development? The impact of change on society is tremendous and both organisations and individuals are challenged to take full cognisance of these elements, as it has a direct bearing on the way career planning and development is managed by both these entities.
In conclusion, societies, as represented by the above areas, are experiencing vast and constant change. These changes have a direct impact on organisations and individuals, as they need to react to change in a constructive and positive manner. The Integrative Life Planning (ILP) model has been conceptualised to offer valid approaches to addressing these pervasive changes.
(Based on the work of Sunny Hansen: Integrative Life Planning: Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life Patterns).