Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finding work that needs doing in changing global contexts

The time has come – today I will start getting into what I like to think of as the ILP proper. During the last two or three months I have taken some time to introduce you to the principles and objectives of the Integrative Life Planning model; we also focused on some of the most salient reasons as to why there is a need for a new career paradigm.

If you have been following our blog, you may recall that we also introduced what Hansen refers to as the six critical tasks, which form the core of career decision making and career management. As she referred to these tasks, they have been given limited airtime; if, however, one starts taking a careful look at the challenges of the new world of work, addressing these issues is paramount to remaining part of the game in the new millennium.

As we started presenting the model, I posted a brief article where the topic of the next couple of blog posts was introduced: Finding work that needs doing in changing global contexts. According to Hansen, it is essential to first consider what she refers to as theexternal context within which career planning and management takes place. If we want to be effective change agents, we need to know how the external environment is characterised – this aspect is often overlooked when we engage in career management activities. If career management professionals want to remain relevant within the changing global arena, they should be able to offer assistance to all individuals – regardless of cultural or local boundaries – with the intention to instil sensitivity to the changing global context.

To start us on the road to delimiting the external context, Hansen reminds us of the well-known slogan introduced by the World Future Society in 1980: “Think Globally, Act Locally”. If one were to rewrite this slogan from the ILP perspective, it should read “Think and Act Globally and Locally”, since the world we are living in requires an integrative approach, rather than one where we still see local and global contexts as separate entities.

To support the above notion of integration, we simply need to look around us to see how the world of the 21st Century is different from the 20th: the introduction (and acceptance) of computers; the use of satellites for global communication; the formation of new international economic and political alliances, such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and very recently South Africa); the advent of social media and many other examples. Hansen aptly indicates that “what used to be national problems are now international problems”.

To better understand global challenges that form the external context within career planning and career management needs to be done, we have no choice but to assess our position in relation to the biggest challenges humanity is faced with in current times. According to theMillennium Project, there are 15 global challenges for humanity:

This is quite a list and I want to challenge everyone reading my current posting to take some time to think how these issues are impacting – directly or indirectly – the world within which you live and work; take time and consider how these issues impact the manner in which you plan your career and life. I will take a closer look at these issues in future postings, but want to leave you with a question / comment: can anyone go on believing that our lives are not interconnected on a global scale? Can anyone state that these global challenges do not impact on our future plans, our families, and our futures? I think not.

Please feel free to comment on the above – I am curious to hear your thoughts on my question.

Time to go – I need to now venture off into the changing world to see where and how I can act as an agent of change!

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