Career Learning & Development | Digital tools and methods
Career Learning & Development | Digital tools and methods

Career Development

What do you value in life? What will you find important and gain satisfaction from at work?

Swedes are expected to manage their own career and learning, but this expectation may be unrealistic given contemporary workforce challenges. Many people either don’t know how to manage their career or feel they don’t need to. While no one can literally protect their lives from any future disruption, what people can do is take steps to manage changes effectively.

Every young person will experience multiple career transitions across their lifespan and some people may experience several simultaneously. Career transitions fall along a continuum, varying in size, type and origin. Regardless of their character, a career transition is a process, not an event. As some are complex and messy, transitions require skilful management. This process nature of career transitions is one of the most critical qualities to appreciate.

Career guidance work is not a ‘soft’ option. At its heart is the idea of an active, engaged person who is guided to determine their own direction and choices. The person-centred focus of this work taps highly sophisticated social skills, informed knowledge, and evidence- based resources.

Career development is the series of activities in an on-going/lifelong process of developing one’s career which includes defining new goals regularly and acquiring skills to achieve them.

We all have careers. But they don’t all look the same. They are different shapes and sizes. We spend our time and energy in different ways and on different pursuits. What’s more – our careers don’t stay the same. Day to day, week to week, year to year the shape of our career can flex and evolve as we move forward through life. The roles we undertake, the models of work we are involved in, and the types of ways we learn and develop – these are all subject to change.

We careers advisers in Sweden want to broaden the way that young people and adults think about career.

“Career is not just a synonym for the time we spend on the labour market selling our time to the highest bidder. Rather, career is a thread that runs through your life joining your paid work, with your unpaid work, education, family time, leisure, citizenship and everything else.”

(Hooley, Thomsen & Sultana 2020)

Young people are entering the labour market more educated and with greater ambition than any previous generation, but in many countries, they still struggle to find good employment and decent work that are related to their education level. Doing work that is meaningful to them may help increase their self-esteem, job satisfaction, overall positivity, lower blood pressure and provide a feeling of purpose. 

Career is the individual’s path through life, learning and work, and the path that individuals take to live their lives, build their skills, care for their families and work in the labour market makes a difference to the organisations in which they work and the societies in which they live.

(Hooley et al. 2019)

Individuals make better decisions when they are confident of their own sense of career identity, know they are ready to make decisions, have the confidence to make decisions, and understand the supports and barriers that affect their decisions. Therefore, we need to puts forward ideas on how to ensure everyone builds a solid foundation in career management skills so they can be “architects of their own future”.