Blueprint For Careers: Career Learning in the 21st Century

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“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”
- Confucious

The word “careers” is often misunderstood and laboured in a universe of constant change and considered something one “should have”, thrown in with a variety of unexpected “pit stop” life changes!

Organisational restructuring, redundancy and “business needs” are everyday headlines but where do we as academics, professionals and human beings go for personal and professional support other than the usual professional bodies, managers, online networks and colleagues?

What is The Blueprint?

Built upon international practice, the Blueprint for Careers provides a new, fresh and “free” approach to career development, offering lifelong empowerment to individuals throughout the life span. A framework of career learning areas, eleven to be precise, it facilitates personal development and decision-making.  Making sense? 

Consider the following Blueprint learning objectives:

  • Understanding and developing myself
  • Exploring life, learning and work
  • Developing and managing my career

Is your occupational choice satisfying? Is your life-work balance suitable? More importantly, are you happy?  We spend much of our career studying, planning, researching and managing the so-called “workplace” but how do we contextualise this in everyday life?  

Human beings are unique and complex and all the education in the world does not fully prepare us for emotional crises, social conflicts and psychological upheavals, as summarised by Psychologist Daniel J.Levinson:

“A life involves significant interpersonal relationships with – friends and lovers, parents and siblings, spouses and children, bosses, colleagues, and mentors” (The Seasons of a Woman’s Life, 1996).

Using the Blueprint

Look at the objectives in more detail and select areas you wish to develop, for example, if you are considering a career change then Area 1: may be a good opportunity to undertake psychometric questionnaires, 1:1 career guidance, alongside feedback in the workplace.

Anticipating redundancy? Then Area 11: could involve developing new personal interests and skills that can be transferable into different departments, organisations or self-employment.

Understanding and developing myself                                                                                    

  1. I know who I am and what I am good at
  2. I interact confidently and effectively with others
  3. I change, develop and adapt throughout my life

Exploring life, learning and Work

  1. I learn throughout my life
  2. I find and utilise information and the support of others
  3. I understand how changes in society, politics and the economy relate to my life, learning and work
  4. I understand how life, learning and work roles change over time

Developing and managing my career

  1. I make effective decisions relating to my life, learning and work
  2. I find, create and keep work
  3. I maintain a balance in my life, learning and work that is right for me
  4. I plan, develop and manage my life, learning and work

Used by Managers and Human Resource practitioners keen to develop staff, the Blueprint is available to organisations wishing to advance career development opportunities.  Teachers can use it to inform and support curriculum, preparing students for life, learning and work, whilst professionals can use it within the scope of their work.  

Further information

Use the websites below to gather an international perspective and range of self-audit tools, which can be used for planning and development.


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