About the book

This interactive book has been created as a useful companion for students in high school, vocational education, or higher education to understand the world of work and how to establish their career. The lessons in this book are also useful to many other readers especially those that are in the early stages of their careers and those looking to transition their careers – something that will happen much more in the coming years. The chapters in this book bring together scholarly research in employability in an engaging manner with practical advice and guidance on career management, including the use of multiple exercises. You can read the whole book cover to cover or dip into various chapters of this book to take what you want, when you want it.


This book is split into two parts. Part I ‘Understanding Context’, outlines a broad perspective of work and careers. It introduces readers to the concept of organisational careers, traditional versus contemporary careers, external and internal labour markets, and the economic, technological and socio-cultural changes that have revolutionised work in the 21st Century, including an introduction to how transference of career management and employability risk has moved from organisations to individuals. It goes on to discuss the 4th industrial revolution and the gig economy and how these have impacted on graduate employability. It then introduces the 5th industrial revolution and Society 5.0. It introduces the concept of human capital, the importance of which has been emphasised by organisations and universities, but offers a critique of this concept based on the structural issues within society, which have as much bearing on employability as individual CVs. This integrated structural and agency issue leads to complexity in graduate employment outcomes.


Part II ‘Taking Action’ provides information on different career related activities to help you navigate the world of work more effectively. This section starts with reviewing how you can establish your purpose and career identity and provides exercises to reflect on and establish your values, match your personality with careers and how to review careers of interest more methodically. This section then goes on to discuss what’s involved in a personal brand, how to reflect on any discrepancy between your perceived and desired personal brand and how to re/construct your brand. Next we move onto professional development, how to plan your career and how to develop a professional development 5-year plan – with lots of exercises to step you through this process. Finally, we wrap up by looking at soft skills or competencies for employability success. Soft skills are critically important, but are often an overlooked part of employability, as they are much harder to teach in the curriculum, however, research reports that it is actually these skills that are most important for career success. This chapter goes on to take you through some of the less familiar soft skills such as resilience, with ideas on how to develop them over time.



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Building Your Career: A Guide for Students Copyright © by Flinders University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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