December 16, 2022

Career conversations matter

Career conversations matter. Effective career conversations create a sense of hope for a future unknown.

In my reflections on our recent CATE Conference at the wonderful Te Pae here in Ōtautahi, the theme of conversations stands out.

From the initial feedback from delegates, there were many opportunities across the three days for connections, collaborations, and professional conversations. As a CATE Conference committee member, workshop presenter, and delegate, that was certainly my experience.

I was particularly struck by the number of conversations I had with colleagues focused on the future of careers, and also how school careers advisors might facilitate the integration of career conversations into the curriculum. This is not a new topic. We purposely made this a focus of The Career Development Company workshop, sharing our RECI framework for career advisors to help champion effective career conversations across the school.

A number of presenters touched on the future of career, and the influence of “real conversations” and industry touch points on career decision-making, fulfilment and wellbeing. I was encouraged by keynote Sascha McMeeking, who iterated the importance of instilling resilience in our young people for the reality of “multiple reincarnations” in their career journeys by “fuelling them with the hope and belief in who they are becoming”.

So how do we fuel hope and belief in our young people’s future selves?

Futures thinking is a critical aspect of planning—including in career planning. It involves us having a clear understanding of current state, considering and planning for potential future scenarios and outcomes, while also being reflective and reflexive. In the context of career conversations in a school curriculum, integrating futures thinking involves helping students reflect on who they are and who they are becoming, exploring the future world of work and the potential impact of factors such as technology and globalization on their future careers. As McMeeking asserted, it is about providing students with opportunities to make connections, creating “hope points” so that they can think more deeply and critically about the world and the part they want to play in it, so that they are able to explore future careers possibilities in a more informed and meaningful way.

Career conversations do matter, and as my colleagues and I look forward to 2023, we are excited about continuing our conversations, building connections and collaborations to encourage the development of effective career conversations.

Photo: Performance Group Te Whānau Tahi


Amanda Smidt is one of a team of three Executive Directors at The Career Development Company.                [email protected]


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Whatever stage you are at in your career journey, making decisions about your future can often be overwhelming. Our services will help bring clarity and support, so that you can effectively navigate the next step in your journey to achieve your desired outcome.

Our career practitioners will work with you to demystify and simplify the process and equip you with the right tools and the knowledge to make good decisions for your future.

Sessions are tailored to the individual so you can gain the outcome that you want.  Two to four sessions are typically required.

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The Career Development Company offers specialist expertise and support to education providers, helping them design, develop, and deliver career development programmes and services.  Students and trainees also need support to navigate transitions between education, training, and employment.

As a team we are committed to helping learners connect their learning with the world of work and who they will become: their future selves. We will work with you to support student and trainee engagement, understanding and a desire for lifelong learning.

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The Career Development Company is an approved All-of-Government provider of HR-Career Development Services. We are confident our career development services will benefit your organisation, managers, and staff.  Our career development expertise complements existing management and HR/OD functions. By taking an active role in your staff’s careers, you can create an environment of trust, openness, and increased engagement and satisfaction.

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The Career Development Company is an advocate for professionalism in the careers industry and for the valuable role that professional associations and bodies play. As a team we are currently members of CDANZ, CATE, HRNZ, ICF, CDAA, CEAV, AI Forum, Women AI (WAI) Forum, Maori and Pasifika Career Practitioners Network, National Council of Women New Zealand, Office of Ethnic Communities Women to Women (W2W) Group. We are committed to supporting practitioners to continue to develop their competencies and to work ethically for positive outcomes for their clients.

  • Professional supervision or mentoring to grow in your current role and as a practitioner
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  • ... and much more!

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