My H-index score reaches 11


A few weeks ago I wrote something noting that my h-index score has got to 10. Well it has now reached 11 so it is time for another celebration. The paper that has moved up into the golden h-index list is The Evidence Base on Lifelong Guidance.

However, is my obsessive watching of my h-index score a good or bad thing for me and research?

On the plus side it means that I keep an eye on what it is that I’ve done which people seem to like and find useful. This is surely a good thing as it hopefully helps to inform my future research and gives me some ideas about the relative value of what I’ve produced. It also helps me to continue to participate in conversations with other researchers who are writing about similar things to me.

On the negative side it reduces my academic output to a number and encourages me to think about the value of what I’ve done through a quantitative lens. The things that are at the top of my list are not necessarily the best things that I’ve written, nor is the fact that someone cites them necessarily and indicator of what is the most useful or valuable. I also notice that citations tend to beget more citations which I assume is something to do with the way that Google Scholar ranks and presents things.

So I’m going to try and temper my love of metrics a bit…. but if you are looking for something to cite in your next paper these are the papers that are bubbling under and could move me up to a 12!


Our research published in a Slovak journal


We were very excited to be approached to contribute to the latest issue of the Slovak career guidance journal KARIÉROVÉ PORADENSTVO V TEÓRII A PRAXI. For those of you who don’t speak Slovak you can find an English translation of the contents at the start of the journal.

The journal includes a translation of our paper on the Economic Benefits of Career Guidance as well as a new interview with me where I talk about various projects that I’ve been involved in.

It is great when our work influences what is going on in other countries so thanks again to all of our friends in Slovakia.

Young people with chronic conditions and their transition into employment


Tomorrow I’m attending an event organised by the Work Foundation. The event is focused on young people with chronic conditions and their transition into employment.

I’ve been asked to attend and say a little bit about the role of career guidance and current policy in this area.

This is what I thought that I’d say.

Inclusive careers


Understanding career management skills


We’ve just published a new paper looking at career management skills (CMS). It is based on research that we’ve been doing as part of the LEADER project to explore CMS practice across a range of European countries.

Neary, S., Dodd, V. and Hooley, T. (2015). Understanding Career Management Skills: Findings From the First Phase of the CMS Leader Project. Derby: International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby.

Rethinking career development for a globalised world – CALL FOR PAPERS

21st-22nd September 2016
Enterprise Centre, University of Derby, Derby
Deadline for call for papers: Monday 21st March
Submit your proposal here

Call for papers

The Fellows of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (NICEC) are delighted to invite you to contribute to a two day conference to be held on the 21st-22nd September 2016 in Derby. The conference will provide a mixture of keynotes, panels, seminars and open discussion and will seek to address the big issues relating to the career development field.

We are seeking the following kinds of contributions:

  • Poster presentations
  • Papers
  • Seminars and discussion sessions
  • Symposia
  • Debates or panels
  • Workshops and working sessions
  • Lectures

The conference is aimed at everyone who is interested in career and careers work. We encourage submissions and attendance from practitioners, researchers, policy makers and others.

Submit your proposal here

Rationale for the conference

Twenty years ago Tony Watts and other NICEC colleagues published Rethinking Careers Education and Guidance: Theory, Policy and Practice (Watts, Law, Killeen, Kidd & Hawthorn 1996).

This was unique as a multi-authored text that sought to integrate career education and career guidance and develop a more nuanced educational basis for our work. It featured new career learning theory and methods of measuring impact through learning outcomes. It was argued that careers work is inevitably political and an influential framework was developed for understanding this. The role of career theory in one-to-one work was discussed in new ways. It was further recognised that careers work takes place within a range of international socio-cultural contexts and sectors (e.g. private sector, workplace, statutory, schools, colleges, universities, and communities).

Rethinking became a well-thumbed classic for reflective practitioners and a core text on reading lists, but it is increasingly out of date. In this conference we invite you to look forward to the next 20 years and ask:

  • What can we still take from Rethinking today?
  • What was missing? What voices, theories and contexts were neglected?
  • What now appear to be the dead ends, the fertile areas, the new paradigms?
  • How do we make sense of our field today?
  • Where does the future of the field lie?

Conference themes

The conference will be organised around three main themes as follows.

The changing context for work and career

Shifting theories and concepts

Innovative practice

How is globalisation changing career?

What do we mean by work, career and livelihood?

In what ways are labour markets changing and/or staying the same?

What is it that influences change – how can we/do we critique the policy discourses?

How can careers work relate to internationalisation and migration?

How can careers work promote social justice, be client-centred and meet the demands of political systems and the labour market?

How can the tensions and connections between the political and the personal in a neo-liberal world be negotiated by career services, practitioners, academics and clients?

How do our theories and  concepts inform our understandings of career?

How can careers work be illuminated by different lenses and ways of seeing?

What new theories, concepts and models resonate with the multiple realities of contemporary lives?

What are the new paradigms?

How do we make sense of our global and transdisciplinary field?

If working across disciplines (transdisciplinarity) is the way forward – how do we address contrasting epistemological and methodological assumptions?
How do we connect theories and concepts with lived experiences?
Where does the future of our field lie?

How can careers work be transformational?

How can careers work respond to the often imperfect contexts within which it is conducted?

Who is the career development profession?

What learning outcomes should careers work focus on?

In what new ways should careers work be offered to clients, organisations and ‘stakeholders’?

What possibilities for career learning and development are presented by the use of new technologies?

How can careers work be creative and meet the needs of both the individual and the many?

What are the most innovative and promising practices?
How can careers work help address needs for purpose and meaning in people’s lives?


Costs for attending the conference will be as follows.

  • Full (2 day) conference attendance (£285)
  • Day rate (£160)
  • Accommodation (£90 [per night])
  • Pre-conference dinner (20/09/16) (£40)
  • Conference dinner (21/09/16)     (£50)
  • Concession (NICEC fellow/NICEC member/Student)   (£230)
  • Early bird (Before the end of April 2016)  (£250)

These prices are all inclusive of VAT

Organising Committee

Conference papers will be reviewed by the conference organising committee.

  • Tristram Hooley
  • Heather Jackson
  • Phil McCash
  • Rosemary McLean
  • Hazel Reid


It is hoped to publish an edited volume drawn from contributions at the conference and inspired by it.

Please indicate whether you are interested in your contribution being considered for this volume.

Submit your proposal here

Guest post: The Idea League


Following on from my discussion of career guidance in coastal towns I’ve been sent a really interesting guest post by Baron Miles that talks about an initiative that is taking place in Weymouth and Portland.  


There have been a number of reports over the last two years that have described Weymouth and Portland as a coastal community with a ‘poverty of aspiration’. Just last week the Dorset Echo pointed to a report that described the borough as a ‘social mobility coldspot’. We at #Weyforward believe that the people of Weymouth and Portland are a strong community that are rightfully proud of the place in which they live. After all, it’s stunningly beautiful what with the glorious Jurassic Coast stretching off towards the Purbecks, the nature reserves at Lodmoor, Radipole Lake and Lorton Meadows and the unique Chesil Beach linking the mainland with the fantastic cliff faces and climbs of Portland.


It is for this reason that we have set up the Weymouth and Portland Idea League. We want to develop and build on the strengths that we have as a community; progressing the economy and infrastructure for the benefit of all that live and visit this stunning part of the country.

Over the last 12 months we have been working on the Idea League in order to launch it in the local schools and colleges, bringing the community together to inspire the young people of Weymouth and Portland to produce solutions to our economic problems; to encourage them to start new businesses, both online and real (be they fully-fledged or micro); to develop mobile apps to sell online or as free social enterprises that support existing industries in the area; to create new and exciting events for a variety of tourists and locals; and to create community-based projects like art groups or beach cleans.

We have started to recruit mentors from the local, national and international community to help take these ideas and turn them into a reality. We are asking for no specific time commitments as we believe that the projects should have a team of relevant mentors so that the young person or people get a variety of different perspectives to move their project forward and so that mentors can drop in, out and back in again as time allows. This is a critical point; for volunteers have busy and demanding lives. Modern technology and social networks will enable this type of mentoring to be possible.

We are working with a number of national organisations such as Teach First, Youth Employment UK, Apps for Good, Enterprise Child and Startacus to develop the mentoring and safeguarding materials that will provide mentors with support and training to develop their skills. We are also closely working with Dorset County Council, the Dorset Councils Partnership, the Weymouth BID, the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce and the Chesil Education Partnership in order to develop the employability skills, resilience and the enterprise and creativity of our young people.

The launch of the League is September 2016.

If you can help with any aspect of this project please email Baron Miles: