>Keynote abstracts
Keynote abstracts

Keynote abstracts


Designing a Self and Constructing a Career in Post-Traditional Societies

Mark Savickas, Northeast Ohio Medical University, USA

Mark will address the use of career construction counseling and life design theory in assisting individuals deal with uncertainties and challenges in making occupational transitions and encountering work troubles in liquid societies.

The move of post-traditional societies from institutionalized careers to individualized biographies has prompted a second demographic transition. Individuals now must construct their own life course by responding to opportunities and constraints in self-identities that may define them and social contexts that may confine them. Now more than ever, career practitioners help individual develop the meta-competencies of adaptability and identity with which to address restraints that may both precede and exceed them.

To remain relevant and useful in the age of the precariat, career practitioners are concentrating on how to fit work into life, rather than fit life into work. The future of the profession rests on our ability to develop new models and methods to help individuals cope with the new organization of work that is becoming increasingly less predictable, regulated, stable, and orderly.


The future of job security: where do we start?

Jessie Koen, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Future of Work may improve work opportunities and flexibility for workers and organizations, but it comes at a cost: workers increasingly experience insecurity about the continuity and stability of their employment. Such feelings of insecurity, unfortunately, can lead to more stress, poorer health, and poorer career prospects.

Yet, it seems that job insecurity is not solely a response to external macro-economic threats. In fact, two workers facing the same threat can experience different levels of insecurity. But what is it that offsets insecurity?

In this talk, I will discuss several ways in which we can help workers to experience more job security despite the threats in today’s and tomorrow’s labor market. First, I will discuss my research on how environmental threats and individual proactive career behavior come together to shape perceptions of insecurity, and how this may influence their career prospects. Next, I will zoom in on the precarious situation of  lower educated workers in today’s labor market, and will discuss how we may ‘break’ the negative spiral of job insecurity (i.e., the Matthew effect) that lower educated workers often face.


Career Guidance in Transition Economies:  New Lamps for Old?

Gideon Arulmani, The Promise Foundation, India

“New lamps for old!  New lamps for old! Bring me your rubbish, I’ll turn it to gold!”  So goes the Arabian story of the Poor Boy Alladin.  But… what about the powerful genie in the lamp? 

All through its evolution, macro factors, such as industrialization, modernization, colonization, Westernization, globalisation and today, deglobalization, have shaped and formed human orientations to work.  However, not all economies (and many of them are the transition economies of today) came directly under the influence of these revolutions.  In many societies, human engagement with work has progressed as it has for centuries.  Even today, all one has to do is to step a few miles outside the cities of the transition economies to enter a world of work that is simultaneously characterised by pre-industrial, industrial and post-industrial features.  It seems, therefore, that the manifestation of career can be seen in two broad contexts:  contexts where its manifestation is spontaneous and culturally congruent and others where it could be culturally alien, resulting from globally transmitted economic transformations.  Yet, much theorising today emanates from the post-industrial view point, almost ignoring the manner in which culture colours economic situations.  This is particularly true of transition economies, leading to a discounting of the tremendous strengths they already possess…ignoring the powerful genie in their ancient lamps!  The question therefore is not whether career guidance is a luxury or necessity.  Instead our thinking needs to begin at a more fundamental level and consider the meanings attributed to career by different contexts.


Indigenising and contextualising career construction counselling for Global South countries

Jacobus Gideon (Kobus) Maree, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Part One of this paper covers the serious lack of career counselling in developing countries in particular, which is jeopardising the chances of many people to construct themselves adequately and find sustainable decent work. Whereas the merits and disadvantages of drawing on the theory, research, and practice developed in Global North countries have received attention in the literature, little has been reported on the indigenisation and contextualisation of career counselling in Global South countries and on guiding theorists, researchers, and practitioners in these matters. Fundamental changes in the occupational world (driven by Work 4.0 and the imminent Work 5.0) are exacerbating the challenges associated with the lack of an indigenous and contextualised career counselling approach. Although the practice of uncritically importing and using foreign theory and practice is still common in the Global South, many scholars are stressing the need to conduct research on and develop, implement, and promote indigenous, contextualised career counselling theory and practice locally. This move has recently been supported by calls for the decolonisation of career psychology in Global South countries.

In Part Two of the paper, the focus shifts to the research outcomes of career construction counselling in individual as well as groups of Global South countries. Evidence is provided in support of implementing an integrative qualitative-quantitative career construction counselling approach in these countries – an approach indigenised and contextualised to enhance its value in such contexts. This approach is primarily aimed at promoting the ideal of affording people the opportunity to ‘make meaning’, rekindle a sense of hope, and design purposeful and successful work lives.

This paper will use the cultural preparedness approach to argue that while all careers are forms of work, the reverse may not be always true.  Every culture has its own ways of schooling its young into the world of work.  Cultural preparedness results from the accumulation over time, of the learnings and experiences of a certain group of people, so assimilated and systematised into the group’s ways of engaging with the world that it can be said to exemplify that group and distinguish it from other groups.  Cultural preparedness is in effect, the powerful genie in the lamp!

The paper will draw upon Jiva, a system of career guidance to illustrate applications of the cultural preparedness way of thinking.  Jiva means life in almost all Indian languages and views work and occupation as being deeply integrated with life as a whole.  Against the background of our preoccupation with the 4IR and all its anticipated ramifications, the presentation will examine the allegory of “old lamps for new” in the context of transition economies and the present principles of a cultural preparedness approach to career development.


System and power in a society obsessed with performance

Anna Hogenová, Charles University in Prague, Czech republic

Liquid society, loosening of human relationships and ties. Dissipation of man into a quantity of tasks and roles, self-loss, burnout, the role of the “state of rush”. Crisis of certainties in postmodern era, digital thinking and factual thinking, necessity of self-recollection and taking ownership of oneself at the time of “overpowering”. Calmness of soul and its role today. Need to understand, not just have information; the necessity of life from one’s own spring.


The Guiding Circles Approach to Career Development and Minority Cultures

Norman Amundson, University of British Columbia, Canada

Guiding Circles is a career development approach that incorporates indigenous perspectives of career development with active engagement exercises (dynamic, flexible, creative and fun). Over ten thousand career counsellors (primarily in Canada and Australia) have received Guiding Circles training and it has proven to be useful in a wide variety of contexts (schools, correctional programs, mental health agencies, and employment centres). Dr. Amundson, one of the developers of this approach, will be describing the essential theoretical and practical elements contained within the Guiding Circles approach. This framework addresses both the ‘being’ and ‘doing’ of career development.


Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development: crucial contributions from guidance and career counseling

Annamaria Di Fabio, University of Florence, Italy

The psychology of sustainability and sustainable development constitutes a new research area in the field of Sustainability Science. Opening the black box of psychological processes in the science of sustainability and sustainable development is the main aim of the new research area. In this framework, the psychology of sustainability and sustainable development enhances the sustainability of interpersonal and intrapersonal talent as well as of groups and communities, including aspects of reflexivity, meaning, purpose, and flourishing for the sustainability of projects, harmonizing the different perspectives in relation to the environment/environments. Contributions from guidance and career counseling are essential for the psychology of sustainability and sustainable development. A review of the main contribution from guidance and career counseling will be introduced. Psychology of sustainability and sustainable development asks for a wide and complex vision, from personal careers and life projects to projects regarding natural, social, and organizational environments. Its mission is offering contributions to promote effective and sustainable well-being for individuals and environments from a psychological research perspective. The prevention perspective is essential in the new research area, implementing research and interventions from a primarily preventative strength based perspective and also from a secondary prevention and tertiary prevention Among the seventeen goals for Sustainability and Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2018), well-being refer to the third goal (good health and well-being, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages). In this framework, Psychology of Harmonization represents a new theoretical point of reference for a new approach in the Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development and also in the guidance and career counseling field. Psychology of Harmonization considers both geographical and temporal perspectives, including meaningful construction processes from the past, to the present, towards the future, using reflexivity processes at the individual, group, intergroup, social, community, organization, interorganization, national, and cross-national levels. Psychology of Harmonization also underlines the value of taking care of a harmonic recomposition on many levels of internal and external complexity, both temporally and geographically. For this reason, Psychology of Harmonization offers a promising framework for research and intervention, to identify and foster new strengths from the point of view of a prevention perspective, promoting health and well-being with the natural environment and in different environments. The contributions that guidance and career counseling in the XXI century are asked to give in this perspective are crucial.