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‘Developing Your Career: A condensced self-study system’ by Lifeskills International

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Developing your Career: A Condensed Self Study System
by Lifeskills International Ltd
Gower Publishing Ltd, Gower House, Croft Road, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 3HR
1999
ISBN : 0 566 08267 5
Price : £80
Website : http://www.gowerpub.com
email : [email protected]


‘Developing Your Career’ is a 188 loose leaf publication, approximately A5 size with a durable plastic coated cover. The loose leaf format allows pages to be removed for easy reference and the book ‘lays flat’ easily - always a useful feature.

The content is clearly and logically divided and indexed, with a 3 page introduction that gives a brief overview of the content with a guide to how to use the publication.

The body of the book is divided into 5 sections, each of which deals with an aspect of self development. These sections take the user through an examination of Career Satisfaction (5 activities), an examination of Self (6 activities), Objective setting and planning for the future (3 activities), CV writing - this comprises 9 pages of excellent, bullet pointed notes on the merits of different styles of CV, culminating in pointers and notes and a final activity to actually produce a CV using one of the templates provided. This section alone moves this publication towards the ‘Top 10’ in my reckoning. It is brief, clear, easy to use and follow and will work - the most important thing.

The final section deals with interviewing and again makes good use of ‘bullet points’. The final activity at the end of this section takes the user through a post-interview self reflection process with a positive slant towards improving performance for the next time - if necessary !

Returning to the activities in sections 1 - 3, these are a mixture ‘cerebral’ and ‘active’ tasks that vary in approach from questionnaires, some with clear roots in Peter Honey’s work, to sorting cards into heaps to re-inforce in the user an appreciation of skills heretofore unacknowledged.

The publication is designed for use by an individual who may be replanning a career for a variety of reasons or by a young person starting out on a career, but clearly the more experienced person will get the most out of it.

The real beauty of the work, however, from my aspect as a trainer (and one who often works with young people and groups of returners) is that this book provides a wealth of material and exercises that would supplement the toolbox of anybody who works with people.

The experienced trainer could pick from a wide selection of exercises, run them as group activities or on a one to one basis using the activity described as a guide rather than a rigid framework.

My only negative criticism is that the activities using cards require the user to cut up some of the pages from the book - not a difficult problem to overcome but maybe Gower would like to consider marketing the cards separately for those of us who don’t have the time to re-type them all onto good card.

In summary, an excellent, compact work, packed with really useful activities and material that can be used, as it states, as a guide for one user to re-negotiate their career track but which would be extremely effective as a resource for a trainer working with any group of people.

Pete Laws MIPD
Training and Development Adviser for Lincolnshire TEC
30 November 1999

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