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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)


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


Simon Perkins
11 NOVEMBER 2012

Udemy: crowd learning through microcontent bundles

"There was a time when learning was what we did from birth to college graduation. After that? We just worked and eventually retired.

But the world is changing rapidly. And now, more than ever, learning is something that happens outside the classroom throughout our entire lives.

We now have to learn new skills every year just to stay relevant in our jobs (not to mention making a career change!). And it's not just our careers, we also want to learn and continually improve in the things we do outside of work. Whether it's yoga or golf or photography or anything we're passionate about, we want to be better. Every day we see our friends sharing their new achievements and posting their milestones on Facebook; how do we keep up and reach our potential?

We're busier than ever. And despite having access to a mountain of information via the internet, we still struggle to find structured, comprehensive, trusted sources who can excite us and teach us all the things we want to know. We need trusted experts, guides, to help us on our way – we need the ability to learn from the amazing instructors in the world."




andragogy • busy lifestyle • career change • changing knowledge landscapeschanging worldcontinuous developmentcrowdlearningdigital education • e-learning bundles • help us on our way • how toinstructionInternet • keeping up • learning • learning capacity • learning the crowd • lifelong learning • maintaining relevance • marketization of educationmicrolearningnew skillsonline courses • our careers • outside the classroom • pedagogyperformativitypersonal development • reaching your potential • reflexive modernisation • reliable instruction • reliable knowledge • reliable sources • self-improvement • sharing achievements • structured content • supplemental learningtailored curriculumtrainingtrusttrust and reliability • trusted experts • trusted guides • trusted sources • trustworthiness • Udemy • virtual learning • wisdom of crowds


Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2012

Ken Robinson: human ability and talent is highly diverse

"Yes you know there's this view that only special people are creative and it's not me. It's not it's not anybody I really know. It's a very isolated sort of genius you know to be really creative. And you know people doubt their own strengths and their own capacities. So I meet all kind of people who don't really get much fulfilment from the work they do. You know they just get through it and wait for the weekend. But I also meet people who love what they do. And couldn't imagine doing anything else. You know if you set and don't this anymore they wouldn't' know what you were talking about because this is who they are. You know I mean like I don't know what else I would do. They are so to speak in their element. And so the book is about that. It's about the journeys people took to discover their own talents and what difference it made in their lives. And I talk to all kinds of people. It's not just interviews. But the book is seasoned as you know with interviews with people in science in business in the arts in sports in technology all kinds of different fields and what's interesting to me is of course it's different for everybody and this is really a key point you know that human ability and talent is highly diverse. You know what turns somebody on might totally turn somebody else off. What excites some propel does not excite other people and I know when I am signing the book these days I always ask people what they do. And when they tell me I ask them if they like it. And I always think it's great when people say I love it. Because you just never [inaudible].'"

(Ken Robinson, Conversations from Penn State)

Fig.1 Conversations from Penn State Episode 207: Sir Ken Robinson, Uploaded by WPSU TV/FM/Online on 6 Nov 2010, YouTube.



2010 • all kinds of different fields • American schools • auditory learning • being really creative • career journeycareer narrativeconformity • Conversations from Penn State • creative capacity • creative capacity developmentcreativityeducation innovationeducation reformeducation systemgeniusgenius of the individualget a jobhuman resourcesisolated sort of geniusKen Robinson • kinaesthetic learning • kinesthetic learninglearning styleslone genius • no child left behind • only special people are creative • pathologized • Patty Satalia • PBSpedagogic codepedagogy • Penn State • PennState • Pennsylvania • psychologically abnormal • school systemsschoolingSingaporesocial construction of knowledgestandardisationstandardised testingstatistics can tell you most thingsSTEMstudenttailored curriculumtailoring curriculumtalent • talent is highly diverse • teaching to the test • three types of learners • University of Warwickvisual learning • WPSU


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)



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


Simon Perkins

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