Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fostering Learning Under Difficult Circumstances

Being unemployed and needing to find a suitable job must rank high as a 'difficult circumstance'. Accordingly anything we can do as career developers to help people learn in this situation must be of interest.

Here's a quote from a news release of yesterday from the Association for Psychological Science : “These studies raise the prospect that reminding people what they love or care about may enable them to transcend the self and may foster learning under difficult circumstances.”

The studies to which they refer involve having subjects write stories about their preferred values. Subjects who did this displayed greater feelings of connectedness, empathy and lovingness than controls, and somewhat less defensiveness.

Worth exploring? Well, as career developers we want clients to give careful consideration to the role of their value systems in defining careers for themselves, many of us encourage the use of story writing as helps in envisaging alternative futures--and now we may be finding that discussing values in stories might make clients more amenable to absorbing other worthwhile learning. Looks worthwhile to me!