I am a believer in the changing nature of career and thought I understood what Castells (1996) means when he talks about the emerging “network society” in the new “information age” with “flows of people and information”. However until last night I don’t think I had actually experienced it. How could I have experienced it without changing jobs? I am still a careers advisor working in a secondary school.
I attended a play last night, “Consumed” by Border Crossings, and in many ways I was able to experience the reality of it through the lives of the characters. It wasn’t directly about careers and I was there for a night out but I came away with a strong sense that this was really interesting and useful in the current debate about career. It struck me that this was what the “network society” and “information age” that Castells talks of actually looks like.
In a dramatic way it gave an insight into some of the issues facing modern workers in the age of globalism and information technology. I would suggest that it gives food for thought in the debate of how we prepare young people for the challenges they may face in the future and issues some adults already encounter. “Consumed” is playing in various parts of the country until mid- March 2013. I would highly recommend it, its relevance to careers is not its major focus but that is in fact the strongest relevance , it is much more like real lived experiences where the complexity of relationships and interactions are not foreseen in advance.
As a careers professional in a school I encounter plenty of factual information and whenever possible employers or employees engage with our students to give them a sense of their personal reality. We cannot know what individual challenges and pressures will be faced whilst being part of the “flows of people and information”. However, being able to experience that world, albeit through theatre must go some way to helping us understand what challenges our clients might face. Theatre allows you to become immersed in every way, thus allowing learning to happen at a different level.
It is an experience I will take with me on my journey as a careers professional. I hope that some of you have the chance to do the same.
(MA in Career Guidance student at CCPD)
Castells, M. (1996) The information age: economy, society and culture. Vol.1: the rise of the network society. Oxford: Blackwell.