Yesterday my colleague Vanessa and I ran a day workshop called ‘Can Career Theories be Useful?’. Among the participants were trainee careers advisers trying to get to grips with career theories for their professional qualification and experienced advisers using the course to refresh their theoretical knowledge and bring it up to date. We also had frontline administrators and information officers joining in the fun.
We spent the morning exploring and discussing various sites of interest in the landscape of career theory. Afterwards, participants tried to get to grips with a couple of particular theories by putting them in their own words and applying them to client case studies.
The final activity of the day was a short brainstorm on ideas for what a careers service would look like if it was based solely on the idea of Planned Happenstance and you didn’t have to worry about money.
Here are a few of the things they came up with:
- Regular speed-dating-style events with a random selection of employers/alumni.
- ChatRoulette-style online discussions in which you are randomly allocated to an employer/alumni.
- Mix up the labels on all the information files to prompt unexpected discoveries.
- Keep moving things around to different locations in the careers service. (Possibly keep moving the careers service around.)
- A Second-Life-type virtual world in which you could experience a typical activity for a range of occupations – when you log on you are randomly allocated a career.
- Compulsory sessions on risk-taking and curiosity.
- Randomly kidnapping groups of students to participate in work sample case studies or short internships.
Just goes to show that, properly handled, career theory can be used to stimulate creative (if not particularly practical or legal) ideas.
- What great ideas for careers activities and services have you been inspired to think of through contemplating career theory?
Related post: Can careers theory be useful?