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theoretical ideas - which, if they are any good, will help you to understand how careers work and what can be done to help

these booklets and pamphlets are available as pdfs, for which you need Acrobat Reader - go to

the original version

This analysis of ‘decision’, ‘opportunity’, ‘transition’ and ‘self’ probably influenced twentieth-century careers education and guidance more than any other framework for thinking. It needs development for the twenty-first century careers work. But, if it is to be developed usefully, it must be well understood. Get hold of the original version in this ready-to-download version

find about a C21st extension

New Thinking for Connexions and Citizenship

Comprehensive and fully-referenced theory, explaining why we must pay more attention to the person in his or her social group. An account of how good and bad feelings about work and society help and hinder any sense of stakeholding. The most radical account of 'NewDOTS' thinking to date.

also available at the Centre for Guidance Studies
University of Derby


to further develop this stream of ideas
from up-to-date sources
take a look also at...

Diagnosing Career-learning Needs

Which Way is Forward? - Fewer Lists, More Stories

CPI - a coverage-process-influences model for contemporary career development


This thinking added a process dimension to the DOTS analysis. It was useful to 1990's thinking for the way it emphasised the importance of how people learn for career, how this can be developed into life-long learning and what this means for effective practice. It is still the most concise version of career-learning theory. Find about a C21st extension.


New Thinking
Building on What We Know

A priority for careers work is about using groundbreaking research to deepen and widen our understanding of career management.  But, no less, it is about finding the links between that research and what people actually do.  We need both to expand our expertise, and to align it with people’s experience.  And the experience also changes: it is in the way that pressure on work-life is intensifying & in how people are revising their attitudes to work.  Change for them means change for us.  This Café menu lists material which updates community-interaction & career-learning theory, and it realigns it to contemporary work-life.  It examines the original papers.  It probes their application to a global economy and to the commercial use of information technology.  And it develops new ideas for careers-work action - enabling people to find out what is going on, and figure out what they will do about it.



How do Careers
Really Work?

Career in the contemporary world is increasingly complex and dynamic. Career planning always evokes strong feelings, sometimes challenges valued cultures and may well question deeply-held assumptions. We must develop an understanding of how careers really work.




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