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Vocational Choice To Career Management - Measuring Learning Progression

Career development is transmuting from a predominantly information-based process of choosing and preparing for occupational destinations to a passion- and meaning-based process of lifelong career management.

Phil Jarvis, Vice President Partnership Development
National Life/Work Center, Canada, 2005

The days when a career or employment counsellor could match people with a single occupation, map out a path and then let things unfold in a predictable manner are behind us. Trying to "fit" people to unique occupational destinations loses relevance in economies where new workforce entrants may encounter 20 or more jobs in as many as 5 industry sectors, and stable occupations and job titles have given way to short-term projects and shifting work assignments.

Employability is now determined by the career management competencies one possesses and one's ability to connect with potential employers or create self-employment.

Helping youth and adults learn, track, market, and continuously update the competencies they will need to prosper in life and work makes them self-reliant, resilient career self-managers, able to find work they love in today’s constantly changing workplace and find balance between work they love and other key aspects of full and fulfilling lives.

Career development is now more about learning and becoming than deciding.

With career specialists as choreographers, coaches and mentors, all teachers, counsellors, administrators, support staff, parents and community members can play vital roles in helping all students and adults learn these competencies, while bringing new relevance and improved results to the education process. New programs, curricula and experiential learning resources are needed to make the learning of career management competencies effective, measurable and fun for teachers and students, of all ages.

Phil Jarvis is Vice President of Partnership Development for the National Life/Work Center based in Ottawa, Canada. He is a leading proponent of the "career management paradigm shift." He speaks eloquently and passionately to the personal, social and economic costs of continuing to adhere to an out-of-date vocational guidance mindset. Phil has lead the development and implementation of products now being used by millions of people daily in over a hundred thousand sites around the world. For example, he authored the Choices computer-based career exploration and planning system, founded the Canada Career Information Partnership and Canada WorkinfoNet, and is a co-author and national coordinator of the Blueprint for Life/Work Designs and international partnership coordinator for The Real Game Series.