Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The need for finding connections and links in career and life planning – The Integrative Life Planning Approach

Hi – good to have you back! In the previous two posts I spent time investigating some of the principles on which Integrative Life Planning is based. Please allow me a few moments to give you a further introduction to what makes the ILP model so special!

If you have been around for a bit on the blog, you will recall that we previously looked at a variety of reasons why there is a need to take a different look at planning a career and doing life planning – as indicated from a holistic approach.

Since ILP is described as an integrative model, it seems just that it would take a closer look at all the issues and contexts, which may influence how we live and shape our lives. As a direct consequence of its aim to bring all life influences together in a model, ILP investigates the lives of people in a more or less layered approach. We can start off by looking at people on an (unobservable) spiritual level; we can look at how people think about themselves; we may consider people’s gender roles and their interpersonal relations; we may even consider how people live together in communities and societies; we can look at how societies are shaped and influence people; and we can certainly consider people from a national and global point of view. I agree that the further we move away from the individual, the less we feel connected to the discussion – it is, however, one of the points at the heart of ILP!

ILP is a holistic model, which not only helps us to dissect life into a myriad of bits and pieces – BUT to bring it all together in a way that allows us to move beyond feelings of isolation, and move to a place where we become able to celebrate the nature of man (and woman!). ILP helps us understand that the world as we know it at this very moment, is in fact changing, will keep changing, and that we need to find ways through which we can be equipped to handle these challenges and opportunities.

A fourth defining principle is the fact that ILP provides a lens through which we are able to observe – and change – various connections and links. The previous paragraph already hinted at ILP’s drive to integrate the various facets of which our lives may be comprised. A key strength of the holistic ILP model can be found in the way ILP makes it possible to see the connections between our family lives and work. If we cast our minds back to the era where it was commonplace to match a career to an individual – sometimes for life – we will recall that no single career and life development approach was known to integrate these two power-houses of life influence! While previous models of career choice and development assumed there was one ideal form of family, they tried their level best to keep work and family separate from one another. If, like the majority of individuals, you were assisted by an old-school career professional, chances are very slim that family and work would have been brought together in the decision-making process. It was more or less assumed that work was work and family another place where we would go after work…to rest and get back to work the following day!

As times have changed, the shortcomings of modernist career models have been exposed – no longer is it acceptable to offer career and life planning assistance without adopting an integrative approach. The ILP model, consisting of six critical tasks, manages to create a space within which true integration becomes possible and has the promise of creating long-term change. As we continue our discussion on the ILP model, we will present the case for integration and seeking wholeness from an individual as well as organisational perspective.

I look forward to seeing you here soon – we will continue our adventure on the road to wholeness and integration of all facets of our lives!

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