Career Information Isn’t Enough

  |   Blog

Planning your future career is tough.

Personal factors (interests, abilities, potentials, values, etc), the ever changing world of work, education and training, credible decision-making models: all these and more need to be taken into account. Just jumping into something you stumbled across is not likely to be optimal.

Strange, but some people think all you need is information. Especially for young people who are experiencing career planning uncertainty, more information typically means more confusion.

Yet we still hear the advice: “Can’t decide? OK here’s more information!”

That’s just not helpful!

Most young people (and many older citizens too) know the leisure activities they like (and dislike). Watching movies, sport, socialising with friends generally rate highly. The problem is that career seekers typically don’t know how leisure activities connect with the world of work.

What else is needed?

At the simplest conceptual level, good career planning needs to effectively involve

  • self-discovery – occupational interests (ie interests capable of being satisfied in a suitable job), values, preferences, strengths, weaknesses, etc
  • knowledge about the world of work
  • guided exploration of information relevant to your individual circumstances (rather than being bombarded with totally irrelevant stuff)
  • reliable decision-making model – bringing everything together to enable you to establish suitable, realistic career plans
  • action planning – how to get from here to where you want to be.

Additionally, and most importantly, systems and software promoting career development need to be underpinned by credible research. Research data including reliability and validity needs to be publicly available for users, for career practitioners and for other researchers. (See also Research for Career Practitioners.)

Bob Bredemeyer