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Cannexus Keynote Moments: 3 Questions for Mark Savickas

Cannexus, Canada’s bilingual National Career Development Conference, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Ottawa on January 25-27, 2016! In the lead up to this milestone event, we connected with some of our pre-eminent Keynote Speakers from the past nine Cannexus conferences and asked them to answer a few questions. Check back regularly to read their insights on the past, present and future of career development in Canada.

1. What do you see as the major significant change in the career field in the past 10 years?

The most significant change from my perspective is the addition of a third paradigm for career intervention. The first paradigm was vocational guidance, which focuses on helping people make choices by using  individual difference scores to show them who they resemble. The second paradigm emerged after World War II with the rise of hierarchical corporations with career paths for individuals. The paradigm of career education for students and career coaching emerged to help individuals deal with the progressive development of their careers as they moved up the corporate or institutional hierarchy. In the 21st century we have seen the emergence of a third paradigm, one focused on using stories to have clients reflect on their individual uniqueness. Today counsellors have a variety of interventions to use: individual differences for vocational guidance and academic advising, developmental tasks for education and coaching, and life design stories for career construction.

2. At Cannexus12 you spoke about “The Career Counsellor’s Career: From Preoccupation to Occupation.” What is one message you hope is still resonating with people today?

As explained by Plato, be kind to everyone you meet because each of us is fighting a great battle. The fundamental goal of counselling is to encourage individuals to actively master what they passively suffer. For career counselling, this means showing client how they may use work to become more complete, rather than just be used by work. My one message is for counsellors to take care of themselves because only when they are strong can they help others.

3. As you look ahead, what factor do you see most influencing the future of career development?

Individualization of the life course and career path is the hallmark characteristic of the global economy. Digitalization, like industrialization before it, had reorganized the way people work and make a career. In this risk society with high levels of uncertainty, individuals must learn to develop themselves through work and relationships, rather than depend on institutions to show them the way. The two meta-competencies of identity and adaptability will help individuals make their own way in this new world.

Read what other past Cannexus Keynotes have had to say.

Mark Savickas

Mark Savickas is Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Dr Savickas spent 25 years as the chair of the Behavioral Sciences Department and is the author of Career Construction Theory. Dr Savickas’ distinguished academic career also includes stints as a visiting professor in Portugal, Belgium, South Africa and the United Kingdom. He has served as lead editor or as a member of the editorial board for 22 scholarly journals that span the globe.

1 Comment

  1. June 21, 2018, 12:09 pm   / 

    […] Dr Mark Savickas is Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University […]

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