Adults in Career Transition
Job and career changes are increasingly common due to the
uncertainties of the economic environment, technological changes,
and new attitudes toward work. The more drastic of these
transitions--changing careers--is often linked to the developmental
stage of midlife. This ERIC DIGEST reviews current thinking about
what motivates adults to change careers and the concepts of
life/career cycles. Implications of the new models for helping
adults in transition are described.
Career Education for a Global
What is the global economy? What skills will people need to
participate in it? How can a refocused career education contribute
to educational reform and competitiveness? These questions are
explored in this ERIC DIGEST.
Career Development through
A young married mother decides to give up her prestigious
full-time job with a Big 8 accounting firm and do consulting part
time out of her home so she can spend more time with her baby. A
38-year-old chemical analyst with a research company decides to
start his own business when he encounters roadblocks to his career
advancement ... A woman in her late forties decides to leave her
role as full-time homemaker, return to school, and pursue a job as
a nurse. These adults experienced discomfort in their life
situations, which propelled them to reconsider their careers and
readjust their career expectations. Learning how to move from
situations we consider negative to positive ones is an outcome of
self-renewal. This Digest examines several perspectives on life
cycles and change and presents strategies for negotiating change
through self-renewal. It suggests a process for applying these
strategies to career development.
- Career Resilience
Change in the workplace continues at a rapid pace, affecting
careers and career development. Mergers, acquisitions,
reengineering, and downsizing are influencing employment patterns
and altering the career directions of many. No longer are
individuals advised to think in terms of spending their entire
careers in one organization. Rather, they are being led to
recognize the temporary nature of all jobs and the need to prepare
themselves for redefined career paths that require resilience and
an ability to be self-reliant. This Digest defines the concept of
career resilience, including the characteristics of individuals who
are career resilient and the characteristics of organizations that
support career resilience.
- Career Mobility: A Choice or Necessity?
What is triggering the industrial, occupational, and geographical mobility of today's workers? Some believe it is a response to downsizing and restructuring. Others believe it reflects a pursuit for job advancement and a better quality of life. This digest examines the factors triggering workers' career mobility and suggests ways workers can use career mobility to capitalize on the dynamics of a changing workplace.
- Career Development for Meaningful Life Work
The attacks of September 11, 2001 prompted many people to ask "What am I doing with my life?" and "Am I really living the way that I want to live?" Many individuals are no longer satisfied with working for a living but instead want to work at living. Career development theory and practices that foster the development of meaning in work are reviewed in this digest.
- The Role of CTE in Entrepreneurship
This Digest reviews the literature on CTE's (Career and Technical Education) role in providing entrepreneurship education, including the behaviors and skills that contribute to entrepreneurial success, curriculum
components and delivery strategies that have proven to be effective, and networking
opportunities that offer students support they need to start their own businesses.
- Important Future Directions for Career
The need for career development is enormous. High
unemployment is a global problem ... There is agreement that the
"old way" of "one job for life" is no longer a reality for most
people. It is possible that, in the future, there will not be
enough paid employment for all. Therefore, there is a need to build
on, and extend what we have accomplished, in order to meet the
challenges of the future.
- Stress in the Work Place
Although employment can be an exciting challenge for many
individuals, it can also be a tremendous source of stress.
Consequently, as work makes more and more demands on time and
energy, individuals are increasingly exposed to both the positive
and negative aspects of employment. Three concepts are important to
understanding this relationship: Stress is an interaction between
individuals and any source of demand (stressor) within their
- Conflict in Career
A value conflict arises when one value can only be realized
at the expense of another value. For example, an artist might
believe that commercial art provides security, but little
creativity. By contrast, independent artists lack security, yet
enjoy opportunities for creativity. Across the artist's range of
options, realizing one value seems to require foregoing another
value. In stronger cases of conflict, a person's whole set of
values can be divided into groups that clash with one another. In
weaker cases, conflict might be limited to a few values. This
digest describes the scope of career value conflict, its
developmental significance, and some strategies of conflict
- Creating Self-Portraits
Creating Self-Portraits is an individual and/or group career
development tool designed to assess without testing. Creating
Self-Portraits is a simple method that assists clients to examine
themselves from four aspects: (1) Meaning: values, beliefs,
interests, and barriers to meaning (2) Outcomes: the
components of a dream or future vision (3) Activities:
including preferred, past, and needed (4) Tools/techniques:
including skills, knowledge, personal characteristics, and
- The "High Five" of Career
Some experts were asked to spend a day together, summarized
what they knew about career development in five pithy messages.
These messages would be used to promote career development in
Canadian youth. What resulted is the "High Five" of career
development: (1) Change is constant (2) Follow your heart (3) Focus
on the journey (4) Stay learning and (5) Be an ally.
- Career Development of Older Adults
A number of factors and trends contribute to an increase in older adults in the workforce including demographics, financial concerns, changing concepts of retirement, longer and healthier life spans, and demand for the knowledge and skills possessed by the current generation of older workers. Once thought to be linear in nature with a natural progression 'up the ladder,' careers are now considered to be much more fluid, nonlinear, and unstable.
- Career Development of Free Agent Workers
A number of factors have converged to create a new type of worker known as free agent. Downsizing by corporations during the 1980s and early 1990s signaled the end of an era where loyalty to an organization or corporation paid off in a lifetime guarantee of employment. Technology has created opportunities for work to be done differently, including virtually. The transition to the knowledge-based economy has generated a demand for workers with certain types of skills; workers possessing such skills are in short supply now and in the foreseeable future. These factors have served as a catalyst for the emergence of workers who consider themselves free agents. Because free agent workers do not usually have long-term attachments to one organization, their needs for career development must be met in nontraditional ways.