Career theory at the cutting edge


Today I’m giving a workshop to careers advisers at Keele University.

I’m going to try and cover three ‘cutting edge’ theories as well as having a broader discussion about the nature of and value of career theory. I’m planning to cover life design, chaos theory and emancipatory theories.

This is what I thought I would cover.




  1. Really useful presentation – spotted on my Linked In newsfeed. I like the fact that you have named “sociopolitical ideologies of guidance”. Not something that I have seen named before! You describe how careers education needs to embrace this – also interesting for those doing “careers work” of some kind to reflect on their own ideology of careers. The latter rarely happens.

  2. The socio-political ideologies of guidance is from a Tony Watts article (see You can get hold of the article in our Tony Watts Reader (

    I think that you are right. I’m interested in getting practitioners to think about their ideological positioning. Most simply say that they don’t have one and that they would never be political – but I don’t think that this is good enough. We always have an ideology – the question is to be aware of it.

  3. Ah yes thanks. I’ve got the Reader and read that chapter but was some time ago so thanks for a useful reminder – had forgotten about it. . Careers work has always been a political football in policy terms, but I’m in agreement with you that being mindful of own perspective is important. Sure I’m not alone in saying that mine has evolved over time as I’ve become more aware of the sociopolitical context and sceptical of individualist discourses.

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