Career guidance counseling in a globalized society. Strategies and tools for career counseling. International career guidance conference, Cape Town, Soth Africa, 19.-21. October 2011 Dr. politTron.Inglar@hioa.no
Aimsofthepresentation • To highlight challenges a career guidance counselor may face in today's globalized society. • To provide career guidance counselors with knowledge so they will understand their focus person's situation, whether it is children, adolescents or adults. • Such knowledge can also be used to predict people's reactions and actions.
The presentation is basedon • Giddens' theory of structuration (Giddens 1984; 1991) • Results from my own research (Inglar 2009), which was a qualitative study of experiential learning and vocational teachers.
The theory of structuration • In a functionalist tradition, the systems of society gives opportunities or difficulties. In all systems there are rules and expectations that define the limits and reduces the possibility of individual actions. • An action sociological tradition on the other hand emphasizes the individual perspective and freedom of action. A career guidance counselor may be most concerned that the fp (focus person) should construct a future based on his, or her own desires. • Giddens combines the theories and structure them in a way that captures both the individual and the collective, and both the industrial and globalized society. In what he calls the theory of structuration he builds a foundation for to say that the possibilities in the labor marked and the focus person´s wishes may be combined.
Social systems and social practices • Social practices (looser) can be seen as a structuring process, where human actions at the same time structure and are structured by the collective. • Single social practices can be linked together in social systems (firmer), which consist of relationships between actors and social practices replicated across time and space.
Social practices and systems and career guidance Social systems have a strong influence. What affects young people's study or career choices, are in order of priority • the interests of their own • parents and especially the mother • friends • competence in different subjects • local (geographical) offers of education • trends and fashions • siblings and other family • Media • labor marked • employment opportunities locally and teachers (Buland 2011)
Local conditions, such as employment opportunities are important. In sparsely populated areas the fp (focus person) has • lower expectations about employment • higher expectations of early participation in the labor market • lower expectations about their own influence on educational and career choices • lower grades, especially boys Twice as many of them becomes craftsmen as those who live in densely populated areas Higher education often requires a resident in a city Vilhjámsdóttir (2006)
Good relations in social systems, in face-to-face relationships • Some students say they chose a vocational training because their friend did • The career guidance counselor often is a representative for the system in which the career choice is done • Hence they should be aware of the cultural educational ballast they are a part of: "the school is the best place to be and you need education."
Establishing a relationship by storytelling I ask the fp to tell me about an experience that made him happy, which gave him a good feeling. In a few minutes I get to know • the story, what he likes • additional information as humor, likes to tell, likes to take a challenge • information to approach a possible field of work. Not a specific profession, but a framing of opportunities. The main thing is that I establish a good relationship. Since the fp tells about a good experience, he will get in a good mood. In addition I use passive and active listening.
Community and individuality as opposites (Baumann 2001) • In the past was often the local community, face - to - face relations and the close social systems safe and supportive for the individual member of it. • But being part of a safe community meant that one had to participate in the community's continuous operation at its premises. • A key element is identity. When an individual's identity, in today's society, must replace the community's safety, the difficult ontological situation all have, in a globalized society, is increasing. • The ontological security of an actor is about their sense of everyday events is predictable, ongoing and possible to systematize (Giddens 1991:39).
The community´s influence on career choice and guidance • Those seeking career advice do often have a conflict between community and individual and personal choice. • It requires a lot of independency of the individual to break out of the community's confidence-building by making an independent and different choice based on desires, interests and expertise • It may therefore be an important task for a career guidance counselor to accept, respect and support individual choices • However, it is also important that career guidance counselors make the fp aware of how others affect on his choices.
Who affects the fp´s choices Me Another person Two chares The fp shifts between the chares: I, fp, want to ... I, your friend, want ... And so on, shifting between chares. Then the fp may realize the influence by his friend.
A reflectivecgc(careerguidancecounselor) • What social practices and systems, am I in? • Which social systems do I do a lot to belong to? • In which systems am I confident? • How do the norms and expectations in the systems I do belong to, affect me in my work as a career mentor? • Which attitudes have I regarding studies and careers that are attractive and that I would like my focus persons to choose?
Young people in a globalized society The informants in my study claimed that students in today's high school were different frombefore. • They had a different language and a different way of being. • They were tougher and had less respect for teachers. The teachers had, without doubt, to work more with the students' social problems and lack of motivation.
Young people in a globalized society Some of the students lived in a society characterized by multiple risks and they had poor ontological security. A former counselor said: “… Some say that the adult contact, the conversation once a week, it can be so that they stay afloat. Only they get out a bit without the teachers try to clean up something, we can listen for half an hour. Then they get rid of something and then they “keep it going to the next meeting”, said a student to me. “ Poor ontological security, or existential anxiety
Young people in a globalized society Consequences for the cgc • The choice of education and occupation is more difficult today. • Earlier one “inherited” the family vocation • Today - increased mobility - more career options - focus on own interests and preferences, some are uncertain about this all their life
Young people in a globalized society Consequences for the cgc • In Norway: “Choice of education” (primary) and “Choice of vocation” (high school) • It is important that a career guidance counselor represents a stable partner, you know he is there, and it is the same person • It is very important to build a good relationship where the focus person feels he is seen, addressed and challenged. • This can be achieved by using communication techniques and by conducting several conversations in which the career guidance counselor demonstrates that he remembers what the previous conversation has been about. • But a career guidance counselor must also challenge the focus person's opinions and get him to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of options.
Characteristics of the globalised society (Giddens 1991:21) 1. Separation of time and space makes it important with knowledge of • study and work opportunities in other countries • our new, minority-language citizens, their cultural background and cgc-traditions • I choose between four strategies: advising (guiding), mentoring (process) , gestalt (holistic) and critical (reflective) in an eclectically way
Characteristics of the globalised society (Giddens 1991:21) 2. Disembedding of social institutions. Social relations are "lifted out" of local contexts and are, or should be valid globally. One has to • trust that social relationships are stable beyond the local conditions • rely on faceless relationships and systems the representatives of a system. • Some students use teachers as "support" and social networks (the quotation) • A career guidance counselor therefore should be a reliable system representative. • He should help not only with a single choice, but help the fp to learn how to plan his career in a lifelong perspective.
Characteristics of the globalised society (Giddens 1991:21) • But is it realistic that everyone can construct their future, that everyone can plan their career and make "right choices"? • Some make temporary choices followed by new and changed choices and by dropout. • When you were 18 years old and had finished higher education, did you know then that you were to become what you are today? • Krumboltz & Levin (2004) and Gelatt (1989) respectively use the terms "Planned Happenstance" and "Positive Uncertainty". The randomness is not random, but prepared. Personal plans always contain uncertainties. • This represents a brake with the linear thinking that is the basis for more rational and effective career guidance counseling where one for instance works with the present situation, the wanted situation and the actions to bring you there (Peavy).
Trust, risk and ontological security Trust is influenced continuously by both close and faceless relationships. An early established, good relationship of trust between a child and its environment will influence the child's upbringing and protect it from impacts that can create feelings of chaos and inadequacy
Risk Society Living involves many risks and we calculate and evaluate the various risk factors associated with our actions. • Today's risk factors includes other and different dangers than before. • We must deal with the immediate consequences of actions taken far from us.
Risk Society Beck (1997:63) believes that risks are the central theme in today's global society, and he describes it as a civilizing volcano. • In risk society the antagonism grows between those who are affected by risks and those who profit from them. • The social and political importance of knowledge increases. • The importance of the power of the media in which knowledge is formed. • The future becomes a new terrain that the individual can speculate on what will be. • Perhaps the biggest change is not that we face so many and great risks, but that we are more aware of them because of media attention?
Individualisation and ontological security An actor's ontological security is about staying alive (Giddens 1991:39), about his feeling that the everyday events are predictable, that they are continuous and possible to systematize. Failing ontological security will result in existential anxiety. As we often make use of and allows abstract expert systems to control our daily lives, dependence on and interest in the home, family and community is reduced. But the abstract systems cannot replace the ontological security that previously was rooted in family and community. Therefore, the responsibility now in the greater extent lies on each individual, who himself must establish and maintain the close relationships of trust, who must handle relations with new networks (Baumann 2001:21; Beck 1997:152-53; Giddens 1991:80-81).
The cgc and ontological security The cgc must: • prepare adolescents and adults for a working life in which vocations disappear and new are established. • prepare adolescents and adults for a society undergoing rapid changes and with many risks. • motivate adolescents and adults to trust their own judgments and choices of career opportunities. • prepare adolescents and adults on a continuous and lifelong career planning. • prepare adolescents and adults to live with both confidence and skepticism in expert systems and media. • make adolescents and adults aware of their face to face and faceless networks and to make use of these relationships in their career planning.
Drop-out or excluded from vocational education and training? • The term drop-out gives the responsibility to the person who "is not able" to complete an education. • It can just as well be the opposite, that it is today's vocational education and training that is not adapted to those who want it. One may then call it "exclusion". • The excluded are not adapted to learning in schools, but learning in a vocation. • What is important is not the transfer of knowledge, but experiential learning. I think there is a strong correlation between content and methods of today´s vocational education and training, and exclusionmechanisms.
Possible consequences of multi-potential opportunities • the large number of career opportunities may result in a refusal to make career planning. • a number of young people postpone their choice as long as possible • Some make random choices in a forced situation when a choice must be made within a short time • Therefore tests should be used with a critical attitude • Tests, in my opinion, should not be so easily available on the internet
Assessment of Giddens theory of structuration and its derivatives • The theory´s strengths is that it sees today's society and its individuals in a reflexive development, in which all actors have the ability to produce desired changes. • The theory, in some ways, simplifies reality. • The sociological theories Baumann, Beck and Giddens have developed are logical reasoning that is not based on empirical research. • Krange and Øia (2005) review a number of examples of similar conditions in earlier periods of society and refer to research results that contradict the theories.
Conclusion • At a macro level, one must trust systems and symbolic characters • At a micro level, one should have ontological security • Today's young people may have problems with their ontological security.
A career guidance counselor • has a very important role as liaison between adolescents and adults in a risk society with a variety of options and a society in need of working people. In the empirical study, • I found three developmental stages of the informants. - The first year they were concerned about and talked about the students and themselves. - After one to two years the interest circled around close colleagues and school conditions - Then the pupils' situation in today's society. • These stages may also be included in a career guidance counselor's conversations with young people and adults. • has to be aware of the relationships between each fp's needs and opportunities, the local working life and the international community. This is an impossible task, but it is better to light a small candle than to curse the eternal darkness.
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Thank you for your attention Tron.Inglar@hiao.no