Vanessa has been a careers adviser and guidance trainer for 10 years. In the past she has been responsible for the professional development of careers staff.
The UK Government recently released Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility.
The report quotes some depressing statistics about social mobility in the UK.
- Only one in five young people from the poorest families achieve five good GCSEs, including English and maths, compared with three quarters from the richest families.
- 25% of children from poor backgrounds fail to meet the expected attainment level at the end of primary school, compared to 3% from affluent backgrounds.
- Almost one in five children receive free school meals, yet this group accounts for fewer than one in a hundred Oxbridge students.
- Only a quarter of boys from working-class backgrounds get middle-class (professional or managerial) jobs.
- Just one in nine of those with parents from low income backgrounds reach the top income quartile, whereas almost half of those with parents in the top income quartile stay there.
- Only 7% of the population attend independent schools, but the privately educated account for more than half of the top level of most professions, including 70% of high court judges, 54% of top journalists and 54% of chief executive officers of FTSE 100 companies.
- The influence of parental income on the income of children in Britain is among the strongest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Parental income has over one and a half times the impact on male incomes in Britain compared with Canada, Germany and Sweden.
In a world of employment gloom where graduate jobs are on the decline it seems to me the time is ripe to inject a bit of planned happenstance theory into our careers sessions.
Many successful people, when asked about their career, will talk about an element of luck. But being in the right pace at the right time usually involves taking action to get there. The person fortunate enough to be offered a job during work experience gets the opportunity not only because they had the initiative to get the experience in the first place but also because they made an impact once through the door.
Planned happenstance is a useful tool for advising in a difficult economic climate, when the R-word hold sway. First, because it encourages open-mindedness in career planning, rather than searching for a rigid career goal. Secondly, it promotes positive action regardless of whether this leads to an obvious outcome.
But how does this impact on our work?
Careers - in Theory is a blog from The Careers Group, University of London.
The aim of this blog is to highlight and discuss theories, models, research and other interesting stuff that might have an impact on the work of careers education and guidance.
At The Careers Group we like to think deeply about the work we do whilst maintaining our practicality and our sense of humour.
Please join in. It's more fun for us if you comment, rate and share.
Search Careers – in Theory
- You’re Never Done Finding Purpose at Work ow.ly/PHBM1007xbT 2 days ago
- Do you hate the word "moist"? Here's why that might be - ow.ly/hTYh1006U8O 5 days ago
- RT @JohnAllenPaulos: As usual, insightful and compassionate. twitter.com/alaindebotton/… 5 days ago
- Responsible for more IT helpdesk calls than buggy software… https://t.co/MpJrcqw6St 6 days ago
- Careers consultant vacancies at The Careers Group, University of London - ow.ly/27nj300mAiX 6 days ago
- RT @SarahMcKinna1: New book for the #careers library arrived today @DrJimBright @pigironjoe @davidawinter https://t.co/vcEw6QHay0 1 week ago
- The Psychology of Beards, Digested. - it would be nice to have the option - ow.ly/WAIw1001Xpn 1 week ago
- March 2016
- March 2013
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- adaptability agency applying theory approach attitude attribution avoidance beliefs career development learning challenge chaos choice coaching cognitive behavioural therapy cognitive bias Community Interaction Theory complexity compromise constructivism context counterfactual thinking culture decision developmental dialogical self Employability engagement flexibility gladwell goals guidance habitus identity innovation interviews job hunting Jung leadership learned helplessness locus of control matching meaning memory Models modes of growth motivation multiplicity narrative networking opportunity structure optimism outcome expectations personality planned behaviour planned happenstance planning positive psychology professions purpose recession Reflective practice self-efficacy self concept self esteem skills social capital social cognitive social identity social mobility stages strategy success transition uncertainty values
- Accurate at the time of publication
Bourne on Do I still like MBTI? (Part… David Winter on Identity crisis Joanna J on Identity crisis Bill Law’s Com… on Classics – Community Int… Makeda Heard on Do you have a decision-making… Michael Healy on The tree of life The Chaos Theory of… on Puppies and ping-pong bal… David Winter on Self creation or self dis… Bogusław Kałka on Self creation or self dis…