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21st Century Trends for Career Advisors

We need to become Super Heroes… It’s the only answer.

If Careers Advisors are to have any credibility as economic, social and work systems revolutionise….. we need to become Super Heroes.

The World Economic Forum engages the best brains in the world to shape our future. Its predictions about issues impacting the lives of career counsellors can be seen in this short video. Slide 220 years ago the life of a Careers Counsellor was easy. Girls became nurses and teachers and boys built things. Once they got their jobs they stayed in them for a long time. Slide 4There was enough change going on for the life of a Careers Counsellor to be interesting. We knew enough about TAFE and uni and the world of work to give useful advice that matched clients’ abilities and aptitudes.


Our work was satisfying.Slide 5It was easy to be amazing.

Slide 6

Then things changed….

Just as we were getting a handle on IT and its impact on our lives along came a tsunami of  innovation that is blurring the lines between the physical and the digital.

Slide 7

Sorting out authentic research from headline grabbing predictions of doom leaves the 2018 Careers Counsellor in an uncertain world.

Providing the right information at the right time so that people can think critically and make wise career choices about their future path is increasingly difficult.

Slide 9

Three Perspectives 

The following three perspectives are designed to provide a framework for evolving and providing leadership as Career Advisors.  Slide y

Perspective #1 – Change is Manageable

Maile Carnegie is simply awesome. She used to be head of Google in Australia and has recently moved to the ANZ Bank. She soothes that while there is a lot of change happening… it is manageable.

She reinforces the Foundation for Young Australian’s line that building skills is a constant endeavour. If we focus on building our skills through our jobs that will give us a path to follow.

She also points out that while there is going to be 10% of jobs disappear in the foreseeable future, we are also going to lose 6% of the workforce through a retirement boom.

4% change is disruptive… but not unmanageable

Slide 11Perspective #2 – Education Archetypes

Perspective #2 is something that a bunch of us came up with at a workshop at enkel... which is a group of change makers in Perth.

Through a pretty impressive workshop process, futurist Adam Jorlen had us come up with 4 different archetypes for the Future of Education.

The more I work with these archetypes the more useful I find them.

Slide 12Expert – Self

The Expert – Self quadrant describes a traditional education model. This is what we all used to. The expert has mastery of the information and the learner accepts it.

Slide 13Expert – Society

In the second quadrant we still have the expert leader but the focus of the education is to create a better world.

We have always had religious leaders in this sphere and more recently Mandela and Germaine Greer have led us out of the wilderness. More recent leaders are Jeremy Corbyn and  Bernie Sanders.

Finding meaning and doing valuable work is a strong trend with millennials who are looking for leaders to learn from. Slide 14Self – Network

The third quadrant that we identified was the individual using their network to learn. This isn’t new. We have always learned from those around us.

The change is that people are using technology to hack their way into information and skills and manage their own learning.Slide 15Society – Network

We thought the final quadrant was the fastest growing trend. This one is about tapping into and collaborating across our networks to become activists and make the world a better place. Career Advisors can no longer be the Expert. Change is happening too fast.

The challenge for Careers Advisors it to learn how to transition from their Expert role into other useful and important roles.

Slide 17

The final perspective is on different roles that you can take as change is happening around us.


The Protectors are those who safeguard the status quo. They are those who have the most to lose from any change.

Hospice Workers

Hospice workers support the dying system even though they recognise what is going on.


Trailblazers are those who try to do new stuff.


Illuminators are those who tell everyone about the new stuff.

Slide 18

This model can help Career Advisors to clarify for themselves where they want to focus their efforts. Slide 20

So there you have it, three different perspectives that may help you to evolve and lead as Career Advisors.

Slide y

If we are going to ride this wave of change we need to consciously and deliberately seek opportunities to be heroes together.

There are organisations that we can support each other through or start your own. Slide 21I found this really cool quote though enkel. It resonated as a perfect description for what I am trying to do as a careers practitioner. Slide 22For Careers Practitioners to evolve as leaders in career development we are going to have to become Super Synthesizers. 


Slide 23

Presentation to the 2018 West Australian Careers Conference – Notre Dame University 13th February 

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