Reclaiming professional identity through postgraduate professional development: careers practitioners reclaiming their professional selves

My colleague Siobhan Neary has just published a very interesting article entitled Reclaiming professional identity through postgraduate professional development: careers practitioners reclaiming their professional selves.

In the article she looks at how careers advisers in the UK have dealt with the change and upheaval within their professional practice and explores how this has impacted on their professional practice. Her case study reveals that practitioners are struggling
to define themselves as professionals due to changing occupational nomenclature resulting from shifting government policy. However, she also finds that postgraduate professional development enhances their perception of their professional identity and empowers them.

The article is interesting because it captures the way in which the careers field has been battered and deskilled by frequent policy changes. Such changes make the kind of proposals set out by the Careers Profession Taskforce really critical, but do not offer much hope that the government will actually follow through on this given the trajectory of policy in recent years. However, Siobhan’s work also shows the way in which careers advisers can take control of their own career and professional development. The following quote from one of her participants sums this up nicely.

I am sort of in the process of metamorphosing into a new professional identity. I think that I did have one before and I probably lost it as a practitioner but I am regaining a new one.
(Adult Careers Adviser A)
In other words the process of engaging with theory and learning about careers provides people with intellectual and educational resources that they can use to reassert a professionalism that has been under assault. While I would hope that Government learns something from this finding, my suspicion is that such learning is more likely to be done at an organisational (career company) or individual (career professional) level. However, the point that professionalism is not something that is fixed by wage or position but rather something dynamic that can be developped and nurtured is an important one for all stakeholders.
Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s