2019 Theme: Career Development in Developing Country Contexts: A Conduit to Facilitate Sustainable Decent Work for All
Fundamental shifts in the workplace oblige career counsellors to continually rethink the theory and practice of career counselling (Duarte, 2017; Guichard, 2013; Hartung, 2015; Maree, 2018; Savickas, 2015). While acknowledging the role of new technologies in creating new jobs – and welcoming advances brought about by, for instance, the Fourth Industrial Revolution – people and their best interests should always lie at the heart of any technological advancement. In response to the fundamental changes in the world of work over the past 100 years or so, career counselling research and practice have been guided consecutively by the following triad of paradigms: vocational guidance, career development, and life designing. A current occupational phenomenon requiring serious attention is the fact that few workers today will spend their entire working lives in the employ of one employer: workers across the world will in future work for numerous employers during their work-lives. Attendant challenges include merging work and life roles, remaining employable, and staying relevant in the world of work. This new work scenario will require changes in the contracts or arrangements between employees and employers.
The sweeping changes in the occupational world are at the same time causing uncertainty among the unemployed as well as current and prospective workers and, consequently, making long-term career decisions increasingly problematic. According to Doyle (2017, p. 1), ‘upgrading one’s employment status has become an ongoing process’, while Wolfe (2017) maintains that including workers’ lives and careers in one concept is no longer possible. Enhancing people’s employability (instead of short-sightedly focusing merely on helping them find work) is, therefore, the new imperative (Savickas & Porfeli, 2012). Career counselling today is aimed at enhancing people’s ability to adapt to rapidly changing work contexts to become more adaptive in general. The emphasis has shifted from ‘matching’ people to jobs to improving their capacity to deal with change and its impact. The need for career development (helping people navigate different life phases and strengthening their attitudes, beliefs, and competencies (ABCs) to enable them to execute a wide array of career-life roles) has never been greater (Hartung, 2011).
People have to be assisted to develop their career adaptability, that is, their career concern, career control, career curiosity, and career confidence (Di Fabio, 2017; Hartung, 2011; Rossier, Ginevra, Bollmann & Nauta, 2017; Savickas, 2015; Savickas & Porfeli, 2012). Career adaptability refers to the mastering of career-related developmental tasks to contend with repeated occupational crossroads and associated changes in people’s career-lives. Wolfe (2017) stresses the need to help workers develop competencies that cannot easily be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence. People should, therefore, strive to develop and apply the five critical skills (Cs) of critical thinking, curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and communication. As these skills are currently beyond the capability of robots and artificial intelligence, workers who can master them will be more (career) adaptable, employable, career resilient, and more secure in occupational contexts characterised by rapid change.
We, as career counsellors, have to respond to such change and its impact on our clients. We do this by reflecting continually and critically on our theory and practice in light of the major developments taking place, particularly in information communication technology (ICT), which is closely associated with the Fifth Information Wave (the digital revolution), in general, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in particular. A basic standpoint of this particular call for manuscripts is that the right to work is a fundamental human right, yet more and more people do not enjoy this right. The dramatic increase in the global population (in developing countries in particular) means that fewer people, relatively speaking, can find employment. Also, owing to advances in the field of ICT (propelled by Work 4.0), many workers are being replaced by artificial intelligence and robots – for the most part in the interests of cost minimisation and profit maximisation. This situation negatively impacts on workers’ sense of meaning-making in the workplace. Blustein (2015) maintains that ‘[w]hen work is going reasonably well, we have a sense of purpose in life. It makes people feel part of something bigger’. Work is a crucial strand in the social fabric as, without work, people tend to lose hope in themselves and in society at large. Without work, people cannot support themselves, their families and their communities financially and emotionally. Their sense of self and identity is undermined, and it is usually very difficult to restore their self-image and confidence. Society at large needs to note the gravity of the situation and to strive towards facilitating sustainable decent work for all across the diversity continuum. While unemployment may well be an unpalatable fact of economic life in the postmodern era, it remains morally indefensible and poses a serious threat to global peace.
The challenge facing us as career-counselling researchers, theorists, and practitioners in the early part of the 21st century is how to join hands, collectively and individually, to promote sustainable decent work for all. We need to maintain our dialogue until the challenge has been met fully and resolved successfully. Accordingly, the main aim of this special issue is to promote and sustain such dialogue.
Types of manuscripts we are looking for
We welcome proposals for innovative micro-, meso- and macro-interventions that use career development as a vehicle for promoting decent work for all who are willing and able to work.
Typical questions requiring answers are the following:
- What are the models for promoting decent work for all in developing countries and how can these models be advanced?
- How can career development be used to promote decent work for all in developing countries in particular?
- Which economic systems are most suited to promote decent work for all in developing countries?
- How can career development be promoted systemically through education at various levels in developing countries?
- What can the public sector do to promote decent work for all in developing countries?
- What can the private sector do to promote decent work for all in developing countries?
- What can individual people and civil society do to promote decent work for all in developing countries to maximise workers’ access to decent work?
- How can individuals manage their careers to maximise their chances of accessing decent work?
We welcome thought-provoking, constructive contributions from across the spectrum of research methodologies – manuscripts that deal with theoretical and practical issues and that report on research from a quantitative, a qualitative, a mixed-methods, or an integrative qualitative-quantitative perspective (Hartung & Santili, 2018; Maree, 2013). For the purposes of the current guest issue, contributing authors are requested to consider the term ‘career development’ as including associated constructs such as information provision, placement, coaching, vocational guidance, career education, psychological counselling, career guidance, career advice, career counselling, as well as life designing and healing (Savickas, 2015).
List of References
- Blustein, D. (2015, June).Which career and life designing interventions to develop decent work in a fair and sustainable world economy? Keynote address at the UNESCO Chair Congress on Lifelong Guidance and Counselling Conference, Florence, Italy.
- Di Fabio, A. (2017). A meta-review of empirical studies dealing with employability and measures of employability. In J. G. Maree (Ed.), Psychology of career adaptability, employability, and resilience (pp. 107-124). New York, NY: Springer.
- Doyle, A. (2017). How often do people change jobs? Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/how-often-do-people-change-jobs-2060467\
- Duarte, M. E. (2017). Sustainable decent work. Invited public lecture at University of Pretoria. Pretoria, South Africa.
- Guichard, J. (2013, November). Career guidance, education, and dialogues for a fair and sustainable human development. Inaugural conference of the UNESCO chair of Lifelong guidance and counseling, University of Wroclaw, Poland.
- Hartung, P. J. (2011). Career construction: Principles and practice. In K. Maree (Ed.), Shaping the story: A guide to facilitating narrative counselling (pp. 103-120). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.
- Hartung, P. J. (2015). Life design in childhood: Antecedents and advancement. In L. Nota, & J. Rossier (Eds.), Handbook of life design: From practice to theory, and from theory to practice (pp. 89-101). Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.
- Hartung, P. J., & Santili, S. (2018). My Career Story: Description and initial validity evidence. Journal of Career Assessment, 26(2), 308-321
- Maree, J. G. (2013). Counselling for career construction. Connecting life themes to construct life portraits: Turning pain into hope. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.
- Maree, J. G. (2018). Contextualisation as a determining factor for career counselling throughout the world. In J. A. Athanasou & H. N. Perera (Eds.). International handbook of career guidance (2nd ed.) (In press). New York: Springer.
- Rossier, J., Ginevra, M. C., Bollmann, G., & Nauta, L. (2017). The importance of career adaptability, career resilience, and employability in designing a successful life. In J. G. Maree (Ed.), Handbook of career adaptability, employability, and resilience. (pp. 65-84). New York, NY: Springer.
- Savickas, M. L. (2011). Career counseling. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Savickas, M. L. (2015). Career counselling paradigms: Guiding, developing, and designing. In P. Hartung, M. Savickas, & W. B. Walsh (Eds.), APA handbook of career intervention, Volume 1: Foundations (pp. 129–143). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Savickas, M. L., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012). Career Adapt-Abilities Scale: Construction, reliability, and measurement equivalence across 13 countries. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(3), 661-673.
- Wolfe, I. S. (2017). 6 critical skills for tomorrow’s workplace. Retrieved from http://www.talenteconomy.io/2017/01/31/6-critical-skills-tomorrows-workplace/