Moments of choice

Can I just point everyone to some really interesting research that has just been published by the Careers & Enterprise Company looking at how young people make career choices.

There is a very interesting piece of background research by the Behavioural Insights Team which explores career decision making from a behavioural science point of view.

This is then followed up by a summary of this and some other research commissioned by the Careers & Enterprise Company which explores these issues of career decision making against the current market of career support.

Finally the company has produced a response document which invites further responses from stakeholders.

All of this stuff if worth reading as it sets out some interesting and challenging new ideas on how people make career decisions.

Book now for Rie’s lecture and workshop in October


We are very lucky to have Rie Thomsen from Denmark visiting iCeGS in October. While she is with us she will deliver the iCeGS Annual Lecture and a workshop.

In these events Rie will ask how career guidance interacts with the everyday lives of people and their communities. Based on her book Career Guidance in Communities she will discuss the possibility of framing guidance as part of a community and not as an activity separate from it.   

We expect these events to be very popular so we’d advise that you book early to avoid disappointment.

No time for social media? Build an online presence in just 5 minutes a day


I’ve just published a guest post in Executive Secretary Magazine.

Building a social media profile does not have to take a lot of time, but it has to take lots of times explains Tristram Hooley

Social media is a powerful tool that can help to drive your career forwards. People with strong online footprints are easier for employers to find. Building an online presence allows you to tell the world about why you are great and worth employing. If you leave it to others to tell your story you may find that the only information available about you online provides technicolour detail about a party that you attended in 2011.

Read more

h-index of 12

h-index july 2016

I periodically report on changes to my Google Scholar h-index score. So this morning’s good news is that the score has gone up to 12.

As I’ve said in the past I’m not sure that my obsessive monitoring of this fairly arbitrary performance metric is a particularly healthy one. Frequent mentions are not the same thing as quality. However, the notion of quality in academic work is so slippery and subjective that I cling onto anything that feels like a hard metric.

However, 13 now looks a long way off. People need to cite one of the following papers A LOT of times!

Effective employer mentoring


I have just produced a new paper for The Careers & Enterprise Company. It addresses the subject of employer mentoring. The paper sets out a literature review which describes the strength of the evidence for employer mentoring and sets out a model for effective practice.

The headlines area as follows.

  • There is a substantal evidence base which supports the role of employer mentoring in schools.
  • We can describe the strength of this evidence as moderate to good as it includes high quality studies and a number of statistical meta-analyses.
  • The evidence suggests that mentoring can have a significant and observable impact on behaviour, attainment and progression. The effect sizes are typically small, but mentoring is a moderate–to low-cost interventon.
  • The evidence suggests that mentoring needs to be high quality in order to deliver any impacts and that badly organised mentoring can do more harm than good.

We then drew together a series of features which describe effective practice as follows.

features of quality

The paper is available to download for free.

Hooley, T. (2016). Effective Employer Mentoring: Lessons From the Evidence. London: The Careers & Enterprise Company.


Johannesburg or why we still need international solidarity

I’m finding the world very difficult to make sense of at the moment. Brexit, Trump, Nice and now a coup in Turkey. It feels a bit like we are sliding into some kind of weird dystopia.

Thankfully I chanced across this Whistle Test appearance from Gil Scott-Heron and it reminded me of the importance of international solidarity and also of the fact that at least sometimes the right side does win out in the end.

Enjoy your weekend folks!

Maximising the impact of careers services on career management skills: a review of the literature


A little while ago I collaborated on a publication looking at the issue of career management skills for the National Careers Service. This is now available in the public domain. I hope that you find it useful.

The review identified an international body of work on the development and implementation of competency frameworks in reaction to CMS, including the ‘Blueprint’ frameworks, which are a series of interrelated national approaches to career management skills (originating in the USA and taken up subsequently, and with different emphases, by Canada, Australia, England and Scotland). There is, as yet, little empirical evidence to support the overall efficacy of CMS frameworks, but they do have the advantage of setting out what needs to be learned (usually as a clear and identifiable list of skills, attributes and attitudes) and, often, how this learning is intended to happen.

You can view the paper at:

Mackay, S., Morris, M., Hooley, T. and Neary, S. (2015). Maximising the Impact of Careers Services on Career Management Skills A Review of the Literature. London and Derby: SQW and International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby.