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Career-Life Planning

My work in this area was initiated by the frequent research finding that "concern about the future" and "academic interpersonal stress" were major stressors for adolescents. Thus my work in career-life planning was actually related to preventive stress control. I worked with schools to help teachers learn how to address student career planning concerns and how to infuse career education into all aspects of the school curriculum. This lead naturally into a focus on career guidance and the role that schools can plan in helping students develop a vision for their lives and operationalizing that vision in their daily activities.

Young people today are facing a very different world than their teachers and parents faced as adolescents. Technology is doubling every two years. The top 10 jobs in demand in 2010 did not exist in 2004. We are preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that have not yet been invented, in order to solve problems that we don't even know are problems yet. To succeed at this task, schools (and parents) need to address the whole-person needs of students and not restrict themselves to only focusing on academic learning. This is best accomplished when career guidance and personal development are infused into all school subjects, and when guidance practitioners and counsellors are able to demonstrate the added value that a whole-person approach can offer. This was the main focus of my keynote address to the Portuguese Association for Career Development in 2010.