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    Career Stories: Applying narrative approaches to guidance in a national employment service context.


    Hicks, Orla C. (2011) Career Stories: Applying narrative approaches to guidance in a national employment service context. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    So begins Studs Terkel’s oral history of the working lives of Americans in the early Seventies, when he travelled around, capturing the voices of ordinary people reflecting on their daily toils. For many, as illustrated in the quote above, work represented a type of prison, a daily grind which had to be endured for survival (Cohen, 2004). However, amongst the stories are glimpses of those who, even in apparently mundane jobs, have found a sense of purpose and meaning to their work; there are some who display extraordinary pride in their duties, and others for whom work is a true expression of themselves and their values (ibid, 2004). Is it just luck or chance which leads people to an occupation they are happy in? How can some people find this sense of contentment in their working lives, while others are forced to settle, or worse, endure ‘daily humiliations’? One of the core values underlying my own work as guidance counsellor is the belief that everyone is entitled to have a chance at finding meaning in their work, whether that be the pride exhibited by the supermarket worker in Turkel’s narratives, or the satisfaction and accomplishment displayed by the fireman (Turkel, 1974). The search ‘for daily meaning as well as daily bread’ is central to my work with clients, as I try in some way, to help them find ‘a sort of life, rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying’ (Turkel, 1974, p. xi). Richardson et al., (2005) in redefining vocational psychology for the modern era, incorporated in their definition a commitment to ‘the importance of work and relationships in people’s lives, to helping people live healthy and productive lives, and to social justice’ (p. 59); and it is from these values that I try to operate. This research was an opportunity for me to try out new, and perhaps better ways of facilitating career exploration with clients to ensure that I am continuing to live out these values in my work. It was a chance to observe myself in my work practices and to extend on earlier research, which had led me to the newer constructivist and narrative approaches to guidance.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: M.Ed. in Adult and Community Education; M.Ed.; career; careers; career guidance; narrative approaches; guidance; national employment service; employment; ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 9647
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 16:07
    URI:

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