Thanks to Sally Cleere, DMU Careers & Employability Adviser, for this blog post:
As a university careers adviser, I am always looking for creative ways to help students explore their careers. I was therefore excited to attend an interactive teaching methods session from Julia Reeve and Kaye Towlson on ‘mapping your employability’, hoping to come away with lots of practical ideas and inspiration.
The first activity to map out ‘how did I get here’, involved being given a blank piece of paper and using images, doodles and different coloured pens to map out the significant achievements and events in our lives from birth to now. In a guidance interview, an adviser would often ask someone to talk about how they’ve got to this current point, enabling them to tell their story and make sense of their journey so far. For me, this mapping activity highlights that a career is not just about work as there are a wide range of events, influences and people that can have an impact on our career decisions. Having the freedom of a blank piece of paper to think about this and make connections between events can allow people to interpret and construct their own story and identity.
This followed on to thinking about ‘where would I like to go?’ using images from magazines and newspapers to create a collage of potential areas of career interest. I initially found it difficult to identify pictures that reflected what I wanted to get across in my collage, however I found that by selecting pictures that stood out to me rather than looking for specific images, I created a collage that definitely illustrated many of my core personal and career values.
I found the use of pictures helped me to think about my career in a deeper and broader way than I expected it would allow and immediately thought of the benefit of using this approach with international students, not only to overcome any language barriers but also to explore the different concepts of career held by different cultures. I am looking forward to implementing some of the ideas into future workshops – Thank you Julia and Kaye!
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