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What is careers work and where is it going?

Is it just the careers education and guidance I did at school?
Is that enough? What more should there be? What more could there be?



Tales of the unexpected: seeing and believing in careers work


How using stories challenges easy assumptions about how careers develop.


Life - a user's manual

  How Connexions and education-for-citizenship presents teachers-and-lecturers, social-and-youth-workers and careers-and personal advisers with such a good opportunity for really useful programme development.  

Bumpy ride for personal advisers

  No guidance system is perfect: at best systems help, but most are imperfect and some can harm. All systems need people who can work with them, and - when necessary - around them.  
The heart of guidance

What can we say to newly qualified advisers and assistants in careers guidance? what can they take pride in? what can they offer? what they can they hope for?

Un-cooling careers work : a plea for practice-based evidence
  The new National Guidance Research Forum will help bridge the gap between research and practice - but what might that mean for researchers and practitioners?  
Who says careers work is such a good idea?
  The future of careers work depends, as much as anything, on who grabs whose attention. It means thinking hard about who you pay attention to in your work. But it also means giving some thought to the basis for your own credibility.  
Which way is forward?
  Getting new momentum and direction into careers work means taking a closer look at the world in which our learners now live – it points to a serious re-jigging of what we do about learning-outcomes, aversion to learning and working with mentors.  
A bridge too far?
  Is this how government now sees Tomlinson and Connexions? are they so readily discarded? and why should careers workers be taking their own view of the possibilities they offer?  
New start for Connexions - in the youth green paper Youth Matters
  The proposals are for extended partnerships, in curriculum and community-wide – this may be Connexions' best chance to develop an effective service, life long – more than that, the proposals offer the biggest opportunity for a generation to careers-work creativity.  
Youth Matters - parleying and pushing on

There’s been plenty to talk about - and not a little exasperation. But some issues will not go away. Not least about programme management. Who gets a say: young people and their families? schools-and-colleges? neighbourhood interests? local-authorities? central government? The easy answer is ‘all!’.  The hard question is – ‘okay, but who is in the best position to influence what?’.

Step change - a response to the response to the Youth Matters consultation
  A review of the government 'white paper' Next Steps - asking how much help children's trusts will get with managing effective learning programmes and pointing to how careers coordinators programme-management abilities can help.

The Matrix reworded - get in touch with your inner paranoiac

  If you’re looking for a reason to get more real-life stories into your programme, take care. Because doing it will give you and your learners a lot of dangerous ideas. Learn how language is not only about communication. Find out why we love to gossip and why you can feel good about being so tired.  
LiRRiC - the way forward?

LiRRiC is ‘life-role relevance in curriculum’. Its proposals are reflected in the current QCA reform. But there's more to do. LiRRiC shows why careers, citizenship, pshe, work-related and enterprise must be integrated into a coherent whole. It is the only route to getting learning-for-life off the edge of timetable. Not easy, but necessary!

Careers education - thirty years, thirty issues, three questions
  Why do we get so few headlines? Why so little support and resources to do what we know we can do? What do Gordon Brown and David Cameron want from us? All answered in this introduction to the overall LiRRiC proposals. But even these are not the most important questions. Do you agree?
What children learn about work - Opening Doors

If you’ve come across just one 12 year-old with assured plans to become a ‘celebrity’, then read this article. As far as most of our children are concerned working life is a well-kept secret. They know less than any previous generation about how people make a living.  They need more play and stories about work. And we need to understand how their imagination is bound to fill the gaps we leave.

The future of careers education in seven-and-a-half chapters
  Bill argues that QCA ideas for curriculum reform are handing us our biggest challenge in a generation.  They start up a process which will change the way we work - maybe forever. That story will need at least seven chapters
Why careers workers need three brains?
  We have three brain-buzzing tasks: (1) finding out what is going on in careers; (2) drawing out what people make of those events and pressures; and (3) working out what we can best to do to help. It’s why you get so tired. And Bill wants to help you sort the priorities!
Careers education and guidance - out of the box
  Could we be boxed in by our own mindsets? And, if we were, how would we know? Try the self analysis. And wonder about some of our most valued beliefs & hopes.

The iCeGS

  Find out why, although it doesn't feature Matt Damon, its questions are even more compelling.      

Changing metaphors
for careers work


Were both Spike Milligan and Doc Brown right - we are on our way Back to the Future.  And will we find Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice waiting for us there?  And if they are, is that As Good as it Gets?  It’s time to take another look at The Metaphors We Live By

  The careers-work crunch - the abuse of narrative and slow-burn creativity  

We are well placed to enable people to deal with the uncertainties stemming from credit-crunch economics. But their flexibility needs the support of our expanded expertise. This is the biggest challenge to our creativity that we have ever faced. It will take us way beyond current thinking and practice.

  low carbon

Suppose impartial information is not that impartial, and urgently needs its perspectives reframed to become more useful to contemporary living?  Would that make your programmes more credible? Bill reviews Ken Webster's Sense and Sustainability - important new book signposting much of what careers workers now need most urgently to build into our work.


a fair chance
in life


A new cabinet-office report - Unleashing Aspirations - is commissioned by Gordon Brown. It sets out the unfairness in Britain’s opportunity structure. Careers workers have a natural interest in supporting fairness. But, if we are serious about this, we must re-think the models we use. This article examines why, how the report helps, and what you can do about it.




We are over-loaded with directives and under-supplied with explanations. We have evidence, but it has been neglected. A broader framework would position community influences on career, and be useful to both research & development. Community-interaction theory does this for social communities and can do it for virtual communities. It all needs reform. But that does not depend or how our leaders reform us, it depends on for how we reform our leaders.


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