Would you like to be a lecturer in career development

My colleagues at the University of Derby are advertising for a lecturer in career development.

It’s a great place to work and you’ll be working on the new Masters as well as some other things.

Well worth a look.


My summary of the main themes of the #NICEC Rethinking Conference


opening plenary.jpg
Kate Mackenzie-Davey opening Rethinking Career Development 


Last week (21st-22nd September) we held Rethinking Career Development – The NICEC conference for 2016.

The conference brought together almost 100 career development experts from across the world to talk about the past, present and future of the field. I thought that it was a fantastic event which I was privileged to attend alongside some amazing people.

It is impossible to summarise the conference in a blog post as it was so repeat with ideas, conversations and experiences.  I’ve used Storify to pick up most of what was shared on social media during the conference. But I was also asked to give a brief summary at the end of the conference of the main themes and so I thought that I might try and reproduce that here for anyone who is interested.

Closing remarks to the NICEC conference (reproduced from my notes and enhanced by my memory and post-hoc reflections)

I’m going to try and say a few things to close the conference.

I wanted to start off by giving a few thanks. Firstly to the NICEC conference committee of Phil McCash, Hazel Reid, Julia Yates and perhaps most of all to Rosemary Mclean who anchored the conference committee brilliantly. I also wanted to thank iCeGS who sorted out lots of the logistics – especially Pip Betts who has been amazing and Siobhan Neary who gave us the space to make it all happen.

I also wanted to thank all of the speakers and participants at the conference. It has all been fantastic and thought provoking.

I need to pay tribute here to the authors of Rethinking Careers Education and Guidance. The book was a landmark contribution to the field and 20 years later we are still talking about it and inspired by it. We organised the conference to mark its 20 year anniversary and I hope that we have done it justice.

I think that it is nice for us to be able to pull back from policy as we have done in this conference. Policy is critically important, but it is ultimately a means to an end. In this conference we have been focusing on what the ends are.

What I’ve been hugely impressed by is the fact that we’ve all managed to have such a rich and fulfilling conversation. We are practitioners, researchers, teachers and academics, we are psychologists, sociologists, educationalists and drawn from a wide range of other disciplines, we work with young people, teenagers, unemployed adults and the high skilled. Yet despite these differences  we are all united by the field of career development, by our interest in career and our belief that we can help people to have meaningful and fulfilled lives. Our differences have enriched our conversations rather than divided us into silos.

Over the last two days we have wrestled with some of the main contradictions in our field. Careers is at once about the internal and the external, the individual and society and about both our personal and political responses to change and circumstances. We can never expect to resolve these contradictions but over the last couple of days we have gone some way to balancing them in new and interesting ways.

Context and environment

One of the main themes that we have tried to deal with has been the nature of the world in which individuals pursue their careers.

We have talked about all sorts of changes that are reorganising the ways in which individuals live their lives. We discussed environmental change, generational change, active aging, globalisation, migration, uberisation, automation and the importance of place.

But, while change is everywhere, we also discussed continuity. Much has stayed the same. As we reach back in history we find many of the same concerns echoing down the years. Sometimes it is old wine in new bottles, at other times it is new wine in old bottles. But the world is rarely turned inside out over night. Our interests in career and in making a difference to people’s careers continue to be useful and relevant.

There has been a lot of discussion about the importance of social justice. The context within which individuals are pursuing their careers is often not fair or just. Many of us argued that we have a role in balancing this injustice and in making the world a better place. How we should do this takes us onto the other themes of the conference.


Theory provides us with a way of defining both what our field is about and how it can be achieved.

If the last two days have taught us anything it is surely that there is a lot of theory to draw on. But, the theories that underpin career development are often tangled and unclear. In particular they often offer few clear lessons for practice.

However, our theoretical traditions continue to be useful. We have discussed Parsons, Holland, Super, Watts, Law, Savickas and others and thought about how their lessons continue to inform our field. The existing theoretical base is useful but not sufficient. In particular there was a cry for us to consider what the theoretical base for a more socially focused career development would look like. How can theory support our desires for social justice?


Finally I turn to practice. We have demonstrated over the last couple of days that careers work is lifelong and valuable for all. Practice within the field is multi-faceted, broad and creative.

We have also seen that practice is its own domain. It is not simply the translation of theory or the response to context. Rather it is in constant dialogue with theory and context with each part of this triangle shaping the other.

Given this we need to continue to think about practice deeply and broadly as we have done over the last few days.

Where next?

The conference has recharged me and made me think about how to take the field forwards. I hope that it has done the same for everyone else.

We have lots of plans and we would invite you to become part of them by joining NICEC. We have seminars organised, a fantastic journal and who knows, in the future there may be another book or another conference.

So thank you to everyone for coming and contributing to this event. Career development remains as a strong and vital field, something worth engaging with and something that can transform the lives of individuals. I hope and believe that this conference has taken the field forwards.

So thank you for your time and energy and may the odds be ever in your favour!

Rethinking Career Development Conference, Derby, 21st and 22nd September – Programme now available

We are now able to provide a full programme for the Rethinking Career Development Conference in Derby on the 21st-22nd September.

We have extended the early bird booking until the end of June.

Book to attend Rethinking Career Development

View the full Rethinking Career Development Conference Programme

Programme for Rethinking Career Development

Tuesday 20th September
1930 ­ Conference pre­dinner

Day One: Wednesday 21st September
0900 – Conference Registration

1000 ­ Introduction to the conference and overview of keynote sessions (Plenary 1)  – Hazel Reid, Professor of Education and Career Management, Director of Research, Faculty of Education Canterbury Christ Church University

Careers in the cloud: Funny how the new things are the old things Kate Mackenzie Davey, Dean of College at Birkbeck, University of London and a Senior Lecturer in Organizational Psychology.

Rethinking social justice and careers work in the 21st century Nancy Arthur, Professor and Associate Dean Research, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

1130 ­ Coffee

1200 ­ Seminars A
Seminar 1: The changing context for work and career

i. Rethinking career in Norway – fitting the map to the terrain Ingrid Bardsdatter Bakke
ii. What can career guidance practitioners do to advance social justice? Tristram Hooley

Seminar 2: Shifting theories and concepts
i. Careers below the surface Janet Sheath
ii. Calling or falling? A spiritual perspective on career development Gill Frigerio
iii. Pre­occupation; a counter narrative for career development Anne Chant

Seminar 3: Innovative practice
i. Developing best practice in the National Careers Service Marian Morris, Susan Mackay and Siobhan Neary
ii. Career registration. Can big data produce an evidence­-based approach to employability support in Higher Education? Bob Gilworth

1300 ­ Lunch

1345 ­ Poster session: all seminar presenters

1430 ­ Seminars B
Seminar 4: The changing context for work and career
i. Taxi! Understanding how boundaries shape cab driving careers Helen Cooper and Kate MacKenzie­Davey
ii. Away from job starts towards career pathways Jane Mansour
iii. Professionalising the career development sector in the UK Siobhan Neary and Claire Johnson

Seminar 5: Shifting theories and concepts
i. We’re all digital career researchers now Tom Staunton
ii. Normative criticism – a method for social justice in career guidance and counselling? Frida Wikstrand
iii. Frank, where are you ­ now that we need you? Peter Plant and Roger Kjaergaard

Seminar 6: Innovative practice
i. The Disney strategy ­ NLP skills for career consultation Yasushiro Kotera
ii. Supporting school students in making careers decisions ­ shifting teachers’ pedagogical perspectives Eleanor Bernardes
iii. Swotting up on career development Sarah Blackford

1545 ­ Coffee

1615 ­ Plenary 2 ­ Shifting theories and concepts (Chair: Hazel Reid)

Career development theories: past, present and future  Phil McCash, Principal Teaching Fellow in Career Studies and Course Director on Master’s programmes for career and employability professionals, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick

Finding and using ideas in career development Wendy Hirsh, Principal Associate, Institute of Employment Studies; Visiting Professor of Career Development, University of Derby; Visiting Professor, Kingston Business School, University of Kingston

Discussion in small groups followed by panel

1745 ­ Close of day one

Day Two: Thursday 22nd September

0900 ­ Seminars C
Seminar 7: The changing context for work and career
i. Supporting the global careers of international students Ellen O’Brien
ii. Careers service provision for international students in higher education: three case studies from European universities Erik Zeltner
iii. Learning from futuretrack: becoming skilful Jane Artess

Seminar 8: Shifting theories and concepts
i. New pedagogies, new potential: how careers professionals can harness technology to enrich the careers learning of their clients Laura Brammar
ii. Possible selves and career decision making Julia Yates
iii. Career learning for successful futures in a global economy – Beijing Institute of Education
Michelle Stewart

Seminar 9: Innovative practice
i. Career and migration decisions in two island communities Rosie Alexander
ii.Widening experiences of education and the world of work in rural communities Nicki Moore
iii. A hierarchy of career workers and researchers Jill Collins

1030 ­ Plenary 3 ­ Innovative practice (Chair: Rosemary McLean, Director, Career
Innovation) Question Time format panel
Janet Sheath Organisational Career Consultant and Lecturer on the Birkbeck Career Management Masters.
Claire Nix, CDI Board Director, Career consultant and trainer­ careers education, information, advice and guidance.
David Winter, Head of Research & Organisational Development at the Careers Group, University of London
4th panel member on adult guidance (tba)

1130 ­ Coffee

1200 ­ Seminars D
Seminar 10: The changing context for work and career
i. Decent work’ ­ what does the UN campaign mean for career development? Lyn Barham
ii. The sharing economy: selling time and resources in the digital age Esther Galfalvi
iii. The future of work ­ trends and innovation Tom Lakin

Seminar 11: Shifting theories and concepts
i. Normative criticism – as a method integrated into the career guidance and counselling session Mia Lindberg
ii. Labour, learning and risk: transfers from the organisation to the individual, and the implications for careers work Suzanne Rice
iii. Cultural learning, personal myth, transformation: new directions for career development theory, Phil McCash

Seminar 12: Innovative practice
i. Guidance in suits? Career coaching for everyone Gill Frigerio
ii. Enabling employees to take a “Career Health Check” and develop an agile approach to their career development. Rosemary McLean
iii. Career guidance, health and well­being Pete Robertson

1315 ­ Lunch

1415 ­ Open / reflective session

1530 ­ Plenary 4 (Chair: Julia Yates)
The Aspiration­-Engagement Model: A cultural preparedness framework to understand the interplay between individuals’ career development aspirations and their engagement with services provided by the State Gideon Arulmani, Director of The Promise Foundation, India,

Tristram Hooley, Professor of Career Education (University of Derby) and Senior Consultant (Careers and Enterprise Company)

Next steps and thank yous

1700 ­ Coffee and close

NB All timings and further details shown above are provisional and will be confirmed nearer the time. Conference dinner will start 1930 hrs Day One.

Rethinking career development for a globalised world

21st – 22nd September 2016

Enterprise Centre, Derby

The Fellows of NICEC are delighted to be organising this two day conference, which will will provide a mixture of keynotes, debates, seminars and open discussion and will seek to address the big issues relating to the career development field.

To register your interest in attending or presenting at the event please use the Eventbrite booking system. At this stage we are asking people to register initial interest, and more information about the conference including costs and how to submit papers (if you are interested in doing so) will follow.

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 out comes. 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 recognized 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
  • Innovating practice
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 at 09:30 Thursday, 22 September 2016 at 17:00 (BST) 
Enterprise Centre – University of Derby, . Bridge Street. Derby, Derbyshire DE1 3LD GB

Career Development Policy and Practice: The Tony Watts Reader

Career Development in Policy and Practice: The Tony Watts Reader
Career Development in Policy and Practice: The Tony Watts Reader

I’ve been working with my NICEC colleague Lyn Barham for about a year now to produce a Reader of Tony Watts work. The ideal was to bring together Tony’s most important writings into a single volume. Much of his work is out of print and much of the rest is tucked away in journals that can be difficult for people to access outside of universties. We wanted to draw the most enduring stuff together and give it another lease of life.

After a year we are almost there. I received the proof of the completed volume the other day and am just working through it. So we are now in a position to start telling the world about it.

Download the flyer for Career Development Policy and Practice: The Tony Watts Reader

There is information on the flyer about how to pre-order the book if you want to get a copy of it.

I’m sure that I’ll be writing more on the blog about this book, but I hope that some of you will beat the rush by pre-ording now.

We wanted to change that particular part of the world’: the role of academics in the career development field, learning from the career of Tony Watts

I published an article in the last NICEC journal based on an interview that I conducted with Tony Watts. It examines his role a public academic/intellectual. It is now available on the University of Derby’s research archive as follows.

Hooley, T. (2014). ‘We wanted to change that particular part of the world’: the role of academics in the career development field, learning from the career of Tony Watts. Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling, 33, 37-43.