>Keynote abstracts
Keynote abstracts

Keynote abstracts


The Heroes of Capitalist Labour

Saša Uhlová

„Exhaustion, heavy physical exertion, desperation. That’s how I’d describe what I saw when, for six months, I worked in five different manual low-paid jobs in the Czech republic as an undercover reporter.“

I will bring a direct experience of a journalist from working in low-income jobs. Together with the documentary filmmaker Apollena Rychlíková, we decided to examine the working conditions of people in low-income jobs by addressing the issues of wage inequality in working poverty. The aim of our observations was to draw attention to this large group of employees, given that although their work is irreplaceable, it is undervalued and not adequately valued. I will take a look at how the nature of such work can affect the working environment, relationships in the workplace, as well as health, personal life and family background …

How can we contribute to a solidarity society?


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.


It Takes a Village . . . Building and Sustaining an Inclusive Society in the Age of Precariat

Roberta Neault, Life Strategies, Canada

It’s often been said that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Similarly, in the complexities of the current workplace, “a village” can make significant contributions towards lifelong career development, ensuring a resilient and engaged workforce, and facilitating a truly inclusive society. Parents, educators, counsellors, employers, and policy makers each play a significant role influencing students and workers as they establish their careers and navigate transitions. In Canada, several global competencies (i.e., critical thinking and problem solving; innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship; learning to learn/self-awareness and self-direction; collaboration; and communication) have been endorsed as the foundational to the ongoing success of students within a rapidly changing political, social, economic, technological, and ecological landscape. Beyond traditional employment, extracurricular activities, sports/leisure, and volunteerism all provide opportunities to develop and enhance these global competencies. Most importantly, however, individuals themselves must take ownership of their own career development as they seek out opportunities to learn, grow, and engage in their work and other life roles.

The Career Engagement model offers a holistic approach to understanding dynamic experiences at work, in school, and in life in general, and offers practical tips and strategies to apply at home, in school, and at work, to contribute to a sustainable, resourceful, and inclusive workforce, now and in the future!

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.


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.

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.


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.


Finding a guidance system that promotes equality of opportunities – perspectives from the host country

Lenka Martinkovičová, Tomáš Šprlák, Research Institute for Child Psychology and Pathopsychology, Association for Career Guidance and Career Development, Slovakia 

Despite a longstanding tradition of biodromal (or lifespan/lifelong) guidance and counselling developed through 60´ and 70´, the guidance system in Slovakia has been facing several difficulties since the transition from centrally-planned to market-driven economy. This interactive session will briefly present current main tasks lying ahead for the (re)construction of an inclusive guidance system in a country in transition. Among the most important societal challenges is the high level of segregation in elementary schools (88% of pupils in special schools are from excluded Roma-inhabited localities, lacking inclusion of children with disabilities), one of the highest long-term unemployment rates among EU countries and overall difficulties in applying inclusive approach across sectors. Three examples of good practice will be presented: 1. development of a multidisciplinary guidance system in education, with the objective of shifting the focus from diagnostics and correction of failures towards overall quality of life of a child as part of a larger system (family, school, community) 2. guidance programmes focused on development of career management skills for long-term unemployed based on the skills audit (bilan de compétences) approach, 3. developmental quality standard built by the professional association for the community of careers practitioners and providers.


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.


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.