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THE ETHICS OF CAREER “PLANNING” Jen Davies, M.A., Ed.D.(C), CCC OISE Student and Manager, Career Development at U of T Scarborough (UTSC)

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Presentation on theme: "THE ETHICS OF CAREER “PLANNING” Jen Davies, M.A., Ed.D.(C), CCC OISE Student and Manager, Career Development at U of T Scarborough (UTSC)"— Presentation transcript:

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2 THE ETHICS OF CAREER “PLANNING” Jen Davies, M.A., Ed.D.(C), CCC OISE Student and Manager, Career Development at U of T Scarborough (UTSC)

3 SELF-DISCLOSURE “I’ve been everywhere, man” (Johnny Cash) Several post-secondary institutions and immigrant services, with clients including: Traditional post-secondary students (17-22), mature students, recent immigrants Prospective (ie, ‘future’) students When I submitted the proposal for this session back in June, I did not yet work for the University of Toronto, so all of the opinions expressed in this talk are entirely my own!

4 THIS TALK BEGAN IN A RAGE This talk was inspired in a fit of rage I experienced last June, listening to the radio as I drove to work Some right-winger was talking about charging a premium on arts and humanities educations because they were not useful to the economy, and reducing the cost of business educations (ignoring supply and demand principles that would reduce business grad wages, never mind the values embedded here) Then some left-winger began talking about how it was the responsibility of PSEs to support graduates by connecting with employers and finding ALL graduates jobs (ignoring the impossibility of doing so)

5 THIS TALK BEGAN IN A RAGE This talk was inspired in a fit of rage I experienced last June, listening to the radio as I drove to work Some right-winger was talking about charging a premium on arts and humanities educations because they were not useful to the economy, and reducing the cost of business educations (ignoring supply and demand principles that would reduce business grad wages, never mind the values embedded here) Then some left-winger began talking about how it was the responsibility of PSEs to support graduates by connecting with employers and finding ALL graduates jobs (ignoring the impossibility of doing so) When I could think clearly again, I asked myself the question: Ethically, what should we be doing for our students as career practitioners in PSE?

6 CODES OF ETHICS CCPA Code of Ethics, 6 fundamental principles Beneficence – being proactive in promoting the client’s best interests BCCDA Code of Ethics Members … Guide, counsel and develop alternatives but respects the right and the need for the client to make the final decision in all rehabilitation, education or employment plans, and teaches client to accept responsibility for their choices and actions HRPAO Code of Ethics, 7 principles Competence – A member shall discharge his/her professional obligations with competence and integrity. A member shall provide services of a high quality.

7 CODES OF ETHICS CCPA Code of Ethics, 6 fundamental principles Beneficence – being proactive in promoting the client’s best interests BCCDA Code of Ethics Members … Guide, counsel and develop alternatives but respects the right and the need for the client to make the final decision in all rehabilitation, education or employment plans, and teaches client to accept responsibility for their choices and actions HRPAO Code of Ethics, 7 principles Competence – A member shall discharge his/her professional obligations with competence and integrity. A member shall provide services of a high quality.

8 CODES OF ETHICS CCPA Code of Ethics, 6 fundamental principles Beneficence – being proactive in promoting the client’s best interests BCCDA Code of Ethics Members … Guide, counsel and develop alternatives but respects the right and the need for the client to make the final decision in all rehabilitation, education or employment plans, and teaches client to accept responsibility for their choices and actions HRPAO Code of Ethics, 7 principles Competence – A member shall discharge his/her professional obligations with competence and integrity. A member shall provide services of a high quality.

9 ROOTS OF PSE Public education has roots in Industrial Revolution Britain: need cogs for wheels of industry, and for that some basic literacy is necessary, NOT uni In 1860, only 2% of Canadians were enrolled in university, mostly the wealthy and those intending to be priests; In 1940 the number was still >4%; 1956, 6%; 1970, only 14% (note this includes the Baby Boomers); 2000 it was 29% 2010 in Canada, 64% of people had PSE qualifications! Includes college Uni is still held up as an ideal over college, a preferred goal after public ed

10 THE PLANNING FALLACY The current education system teaches young people to plan; it is a plan The ones who follow plans most effectively are the ones we call “successful” We give them plans: get good grades in Grade 1, then Grade 2 … to 12 Young people who are successful at following the grade-school plan then go to college or university and get good grades in 100-level courses, then in 200-level courses … Those who are REALLY good at following the get-good-grades-in- sequenced-courses plan go on to professional and graduate studies, where they follow more plans

11 THE PLANNING FALLACY Then what? There is no “the rest of your career life” plan pre-packaged for them These expert plan-followers get anxious and uncomfortable, so they come to the career centre asking for “the next step” When clients are squirmy and uncomfortable, we like to comfort them, so we often help them to make the plan they are asking for Should we give them what they’re asking for (another plan)? Is there something else in the best interests that we can teach them?

12 A QUOTE “It’s why we all have different resumés: We create our lives. And we can re- create them as we go through them. [Creativity] is the common currency of being a human being.” Sir Ken Robinson, TED Talk, “How to escape education’s Death Valley”

13 LIFE IS COMPLICATED The ones we call successful in PSE are typically not the ones skilled at “winging it” or taking chances If they had taken too many chances they wouldn’t have done well in PSE! They are accustomed to following a map, and at the end we expect them to do without a clear one Maps are fine if we know 100% where the treasure is… 100%?

14 100% We, who have the benefit of years working and the accumulated knowledge of years’ worth of graduates, friends, colleagues to rely on, know that very little in this world is 100% certain Our students frequently have not had the life experience yet to know Following pre-determined plans has earned our “most successful” students our praise In the “real world”, chance rules

15 QUESTION 1 / 3 Gelatt (1989) described the notion of Positive Uncertainty, updated recently “Positive Uncertainty is a philosophy for making decisions when you don’t know what the future will be, which is all the time. It may sound a little strange to you. That’s because it is strange. Actually it is paradoxical. Being uncertain and positive is what we are saying is what you need to be a successful decision maker.” In what ways are we obligated as PSE service providers to coach our students on means for remaining positive in the face of the unknown, when they have not faced much of the unknown ever before?

16 QUESTION 2 / 3 Pryor & Bright (2011) talked about Career Chaos Theory Bright’s position is that, making and following plans can actually cause you to follow a path blindly; walk into setbacks that were not predicted but could have been responded to if they were noted; and that instead we ought to take advantage of the opportunities that happen to cross our paths, which we typically miss when we follow our paths blindly; and paths often don’t lead where we think they’re leading. How are we currently preparing our students to “watch for opportunities”?

17 QUESTION 3 / 3 Krumboltz (2002) talked about Planned Happenstance, which is essentially the notion that we can make our own career luck Babineaux and Krumboltz (2013) noted that, in many organizations and also in successful individuals’ lives, failure was an important learning tool [But, says Jen, the ones who do well in PSE typically never failed at much] Making our own luck (by connecting with others and being curious), and risking small failures in order to test out opportunities that we find through our curiosity, is not something taught in school (they teach: read about it) How do we engage our students in action around world of work curiosity?

18 ANOTHER QUOTE “There are things we’re in thrall to in education. [Our educational systems teach]…linearity. That it starts here, and you go through a track and if you do everything right, you’ll end up set for the rest of your life. [Via stories we know that] … life is not linear, it is organic. We create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances they help to create for us.” Sir Ken Robinson, TED Talk, “Bring on the learning revolution!”

19 LIFE IS COMPLICATED The ones we call successful in PSE are typically not the ones skilled at “winging it” or taking chances If they had taken too many chances they wouldn’t have done well in PSE! They are accustomed to following a map, and at the end we expect them to make their own Maps are fine if we know 100% where the treasure is… 100%?

20 CAREER “PLANNING” Given the practical impossibility of a student making a plan that they can confidently follow beyond a few years at most… Knowing that chance rules in the “real world” and creating chances and capitalizing on them is an essential skill… what should we be helping our students to do when they engage with the Career Centre as well / instead? How do we do that? Best practices

21 CODES OF ETHICS CCPA Code of Ethics, 6 fundamental principles Beneficence – being proactive in promoting the client’s best interests BCCDA Code of Ethics Members … Guide, counsel and develop alternatives but respects the right and the need for the client to make the final decision in all rehabilitation, education or employment plans, and teaches client to accept responsibility for their choices and actions HRPAO Code of Ethics, 7 principles Competence – A member shall discharge his/her professional obligations with competence and integrity. A member shall provide services of a high quality.

22 RESOURCES Amundson, N. E. (1995). An interactive model of career decision making. Journal of Employment Counseling, 32(1), Bright, J. (November 5, 2013). Thoughts on Chaos Theory. Contact Point Blog. Gelatt, H. B. (1995). Chaos and compassion. Counseling and Values, 39(2), Gelatt, H. B. (1989). Positive uncertainty: A new decision-making framework for counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 36(2), Ibarra, H. (2004). Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. Harvard Business School Press: Boston. Smith, B. A. (January 19, 2013). The need for ‘Positive Uncertainty’ in the Globalization era. Careering Magazine. uncertainty-in-the-globalization-era/ - Additional useful references available at the end of this article.http://contactpoint.ca/theory-corner-the-need-for-positive- uncertainty-in-the-globalization-era/

23 RESOURCES Inspiration from Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talks: Inspiration from Pryor and Bright (2011) The Chaos Theory of Careers: A User’s Guide Inspiration from John Krumboltz’s Planned Happenstance Theory and his recent book on the learning value of failure Theory Summary: contactpoint.ca/wikis/john-krumboltzs-happenstance-2/contactpoint.ca/wikis/john-krumboltzs-happenstance-2/ Failing (ie, Experience):


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