May 9, 2012

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Work-Life Narratives: authoring the future of career. An engaging hour of radio featuring experts in developing your career identify through your stories, and the value of career conversations.

This Wednesday’s Career Buzz guests are experts in narratives at work, and writing as a transformative tool for career management. They’ll share highlights of their transformation-through-writing model which features a four step process: sensing, sifting, focusing, understanding. Frans Meijers, PhD will tell you about his research showing career dialogue as a central part of any powerful environment for career learning. Narrative career approaches are also brought to life in university level courses designed and led by both Frans and our other guest, writer, poet and visiting professor Reinekke Lengelle. They’ll talk about the courses that explore life and career themes through writing, conversation, and their work on “career construction” stories.

Reinekke Lengelle, is a writer, poet, and visiting graduate professor at Athabasca University in Alberta. She designs and teaches graduate courses in the area of writing for personal and professional development. Her co-written article about Narratives at Work with Frans Meijers, was recently published in the British Journal of Career Guidance and Counselling.

Frans Meijers, PhD, is a top researcher in the area of career guidance in the Netherlands. He’s also professor of pedagogy and career development at the University of The Hague. His research shows that career learning takes place as a result of experiential learning and a dialogue about those experiences. This finding has led Frans to develop professional training programs for teachers in how to have true career conversations.

Tune in, learn, enjoy, and send your questions by email as you listen in on these two experts. Career Buzz is on Wednesday May 9, 11am-noon Eastern, listen live from your computer at or tune to 89.5 FM in Toronto.

Sparks from April 25 when Career Buzz explored volunteering to develop your career.

Michael Gustar of Volunteer Hamilton gave an example about using volunteering to for career planning. “We had a student who really wanted to be a veterinarian. She volunteered in an animal hospital and very quickly found out there’s no way she’d be a vet. The reason was she was so passionate and loved being around animals so much that she couldn’t stand being around the pain aspect. So she worked in social services and worked with the human animal instead.” Michael elaborated on the value of volunteering: “Volunteering can be a huge assist on the career path. It can help you hone skills, learn new skills, practice skills. It can help you in networking and finding out where the opportunities lay, and it can help you know where you don’t want to go.”

CareerCycles Tip: Try this short five step experience to milk your volunteer experiences to help you make career and life choices. 1) Think of one of your volunteer activities. 2) Write two qualities of the experience you liked. 3) Write two qualities you didn’t like, and for each one, name what you know you want now because of what you didn’t like, e.g. ‘didn’t like boring tasks, know now I want more challenging tasks.’ 4) Write two skills you enjoyed using. 5) Look at the four desires and two skills and ask yourself: What can I do in my career and life to live these six elements? Contact your local volunteer organization to find more opportunities, e.g. Listen to the whole interview featuring Heather McDonald of Toronto Cyclists Union, and Shawn Kelly.

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