Saturday, July 9, 2011

ILP and Individualism, Spirituality, and Community (#7)

And now, let us take five minutes to meet the 7th reason why new approaches to career management and development are needed: individualism, spirituality, and community.

One key change, which is reported in literature and observed by career professionals, is the (new) emphasis being placed on individualism. Individualism is obviously defined differently by different authors, but from a philosophical perspective individualism refers to a belief that all actions are determined by, or at least take place for, the benefit of the individual.

According to the ILP model, the emphasis on the individual leads to a fragmented society where a significant emphasis is placed on egotistical needs and decisions, and where development for the greater good of society is largely ignored. In line with this notion, Penn (2007) states that “the one-size-fits-all approach to the world is dead”. Yes, even though we may try to ignore this truth, most of us are in it for ourselves! The more money there is to be made, the happier and more fulfilled many become!

This fragmented context needs our attention and career professionals need to consider the importance of re-establishing the connection between body, mind, and spirit. Once the connection is re-established, will we be able to once again approach a state of wellness and wholeness. The ILP approach takes cognisance of this fragmented reality and offers a framework, which manages to provide people with a new focus on making a difference in our communities, by adopting big picture thinking, and being able to think holistically.

The ILP approach offers guidelines in terms of how we can link our life choices to societal issues and make sure our development takes places for the common good. In these times of over-emphasising individual wants and needs, a call is made to pay attention to spirituality and connectedness.

Implications of the above? Those who function as career professionals are required to help people place less emphasis on the self and its needs, and to rather start seeing work as an activity that needs to be done for the benefit of society. Simply put, people are to be helped to realise the importance of wholeness and connectedness between all of the parts mentioned above.

In closing, the series of seven reasons as to why a new career management and development paradigm is needed has now been concluded. I hope we are all in some form of agreement that old (modernist) models of career planning are really obsolete and that a new, post-modern approach is required.

In the next few blogs, I will spend some more time introducing some of the key concepts of Integrative Life Planning; then we will be heading straight into ILP proper where the model and its various considerations and critical tasks are to be discussed in greater detail.

Hope to see you there and get your comments and feedback!

(Based on the work of Sunny Hansen: Integrative Life Planning: Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life PatternsDescription:

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