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18 MARCH 2013

Younger Workers Need a Career Narrative

"In recent years, much has been written about the importance of career narratives for mid–career and senior professionals, particularly those making a career transition. But, we'd argue, they're even more important for younger professionals who don't yet have a multipage CV or a high–powered headhunter in their corner. What, then, makes for an effective narrative?

First, it should be easy to remember and retell. The whole point is to give your colleagues a narrative that quickly comes to mind whenever they're asked about you, preventing them from making assumptions and drawing conclusions on their own. Two or four sentences, maximum.

Second, it should meaningfully link your past successes to your near and long–term development needs and suggest the kinds of assignments that would help to achieve those objectives. Those goals might certainly be developmental (to test a particular skill; gain experience with a certain tool or methodology; explore a specific industry). But they can also be more personal (limit travel to spend time with family, for instance).Think of it as a 'sound–bite resume' – on hearing it, senior professionals should have two reactions. First, they should be interested in working with you. Second, they should know if it makes sense for you to work with them.

Third, your narrative needs to hang together with the right combination of honesty, humility, and personal flavor. Doing so creates an authentic and compelling career narrative. Narratives that just articulate a string of successes are not credible and are not likely to be repeated. Similarly, boilerplate chronicles without any personal flair rarely get traction."

(Heidi K. Gardner and Adam Zalisk, 15 February 2013, Harvard Business Review)

TAGS

careercareer developmentcareer journeycareer narrativecareer pathcareer planningcareer progressioncareer story • career transition • curriculum vitae • CV • Harvard Business Reviewhuman resourcesleadershiplearning journeynarrative accountorganisational behaviourorganisational capabilities • organisational development • organisational productivitypersonal knowledge mappingpersonal satisfactionprofessional developmentprofessional skillsresume • senior professionals • sound-bite resume • strategysuccesstailored curriculumtailoring curriculumworkplace • younger professionals

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 SEPTEMBER 2011

Career Narratives: stories that connect your past to your present

"A career narrative is basically a story about a career. It is a story that connects the protagonist's (i.e., the client's) past to the present in the sense that it conveys how the protagonist came to be what he or she is presently. This retrospective aspect of the narrative is supplemented with the career story's progressive aspect, in which the narrative puts into words the future that the protagonist is approaching. A career story is therefore both an account of how the protagonist came to be what he or she presently is, and furthermore, what future is expected for the protagonist to enact based on his or her particular past and present being."

(Torben K. Christensen; Joseph A. Johnston, pg.149)

2). Torben K. Christensen; Joseph A. Johnston (2003). "Incorporating the Narrative in Career Planning", Journal of Career Development; Spring 2003; 29, 3; ABI/INFORM Global.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 DECEMBER 2010

Individual learning plans: a route map for success

"Individual learning plans form a 'route map' of how a learner will get from their starting point on a learning journey to the desired end point. They may be for one course and include the acquisition of qualifications and skills, or may link several courses that give progression to different levels (from level 1 to 3, or from level 2 to Higher Education). They should be individual for each learner to reflect aspirations, aptitude and needs.

Although there may be common learning goals and methods of delivery for all learners on a particular course, it is unlikely that all learners have exactly the same learning styles, abilities, support needs, access to assessment in the workplace (if applicable), previous qualifications or experience. Too many vocationally–based courses have identical individual learning plans where only the names of learners are different. Some will struggle to achieve them while others will find them too easy and lose interest by not being sufficiently challenged.

Individual learning plans should start from a common format, listing general outcomes, and then develop as initial assessment and circumstances impact. They should be live documents that are useful to the learner, delivery staff and possibly employers and parents/guardians."

(Learning and Skills Improvement Service, UK)

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TAGS

andragogyassessmentcoursehigher educationindividualindividual learning planslearnerlearning • learning and skills • Learning and Skills Improvement Service • learning goalslearning journey • learning plan • learning styleslifelong learning • LSIS • pedagogypersonal knowledge mappingplanningpost-16professional developmentqualifications • road map • route mapskillsstrategytailored curriculumtailoring curriculumUKvocationworkplace

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 JULY 2010

Microlearning: learning from microcontent

"We understand microlearning primarily as learning from microcontent – from "small pieces, loosely joined" (Weinberger, 2002).

Microlearning as a term reflects the emerging reality of the everincreasing fragmentation of both information sources and information units used for learning, especially in fast–moving areas which see rapid development and a constantly high degree of change.

While in the past a single authoritative work (or even a single authoritative teacher) may have been all that was necessary to sufficiently acquaint oneself with a given topic of interest, this is increasingly untrue, especially as the necessity to (quickly) learn (a lot) extends into almost everyone's work life.

Books, magazine articles, a multitude of web resources (like online books, tutorials, encyclopedias, forum and weblog postings, emails and comprehensive teaching material collections as produced by MIT's OpenCourseWare project or the Connexions effort hosted at Rice University) form essential ingredients of the source mix of almost any non–institutionalized learning effort – and, increasingly, of many institutionalized efforts as well.

Fragmentation of sources has both positive and negative aspects. From a producer's standpoint, information fragments are much easier to create than larger works. Furthermore, disaggregated content – theoretically – can be re–aggregated to optimally suit an individual learner's preferences (instead of the needs of an idealized common denominator). The other side of the coin is that a significant fraction of the consolidation and organization effort is shifted towards the learner.

It will increasingly be the task of microlearning management systems to assist the learner (or group of learners) to consolidate information gleaned from such disparate sources into a coherent whole. We see personal knowledge mapping as enabled by combined wiki/weblog software as a first step in that direction."

(Christian Langreiter, Andreas Bolka, 2005)

Weinberger, D.: 2002, Small Pieces Loosely Joined. Perseus Books.

[2] Langreiter, C. and A. Bolka (2005). Snips & Spaces: Managing Microlearning. Microlearning Conference. Innsbruck, Austria.

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TAGS

2005authoritative workauthorshipcoherenceConnexions Consortium • consolidation • contentcontextdigital education • disaggregation • disparate sources • encyclopaediafragmentationinformation • information fragments • information in contextinstructionintegration • knowledge chunks • learnerlearninglifelong learning • magazine articles • microcontentmicrolearningmicrolearning management systemMIT • online books • online tutorialsOpen Educational Resources (OER) • OpenCourseWare project • orderingorganisationpaedagogypedagogypersonal knowledge mapping • re-aggregation • Rice Universitysnippet • sources • teachingteaching materialstraining • web resources • weblogwholewiki

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 NOVEMBER 2009

Rehearsal as a Naming Process Central to the Development of Creative Identities

"Students in the Multimedia degree programme at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) are requested to keep online journals in the form of weblogs. They do so to document their evolving design practice and experimentation....

By maintaining the journals NTU Multimedia students engage in a naming process where they rehearse their creative identities into practice. Through doing so they script their individual narratives as they contribute to a shared discourse about the nature of their field. Through assimilating and reflecting upon new knowledge in this way, the students are able to participate in localised Communities of Practice that act as vehicles for naming, sharing and critiquing common practices. In doing so they become located within a broader network of symbolic exchange readied for forging new opportunities for collaboration and prepared for establishing individualised practices within a broader network of global interconnections."

(Julius Ayodeji and Simon Perkins, 2009)

[1] Dávid Jablonovský, Tom Nightingale and Kameljit Banwait
[2] Ayodeji, J. and S. Perkins (2009). Rehearsal as a Naming Process Central to the Development of Creative Identities. Designs on e–Learning International Online Conference. London, UK, University of the Arts London.

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TAGS

2009communities of practice • creative identities • creative practice • Designs on E-Learning Online Conference • e-learningelearning • enhanced learning • evolving practice • identity naming and rehearsal • identity rehearsal • identity rehearsal and enactment • Julius Ayodeji • knowledge integrationlearning • learning identities • learning journallearning storiesmultimedianamingnaming and rehearsalnaming processNottingham Trent UniversityNTUNTU Multimediaonline journalspedagogypersonal knowledge mappingpractice narrativesprofessional developmentreflective journalrehearsalrehearsal through creative practiceSimon Perkins • symbolic exchange • Technology Enhanced LearningTELUKvirtual learning

CONTRIBUTOR

Multimedia
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