“The contribution of the thesis is substantial because it merges two disciplines, namely creative writing from English and identity construction from psychology, to inform the theory and practice of career intervention… This thesis is a fine example of scholarly work by a mature professional.”
Prof. Dr. Mark Savickas
Reinekke earned her PhD on the topic of Career Writing, a narrative approach to career learning where people write about their lives in order to gain insight and take next steps. See Reinekke’s publication list for topics of past and current research.
This year research includes topics such as the importance of reflection in higher education, the added value of group work in career-writing processes, the risk and remedies of foreclosure, and global citizenship in education.
Reinekke Lengelle works as part of an international community of practice: her network includes career researchers from across the globe. She and Dr. Frans Meijers work on most research projects together and they have colleagues in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England, France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.
Reinekke is also a member of the Research Group “Sustainable Talent Development” led by Dr. Ellen Sjoer at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. She and Frans present their research at various conferences each year and they co-organized a conference at the Hague University on “Learning and Working Together” in November 2017 in collaboration with the Dialogical Self Academy.
Why this research matters
The world of work has changed drastically in the last few decades. Research shows several societal trends:
An increase in insecure, part-time jobs.
Many of us will be working on a project basis and instead of maintaining our employment we will need to maintain our employability.
An increase in complexity.
We used to be able to identify with particular professions easily, roles like dentist, lawyer, teacher, but now we have roles like “information architect”, “digital safety advisor”, and “educational designer”. There are jobs we don’t even know are out there and we might even create or shape our own work in fundamental ways. The choice of options in education reflect this increase in complexity.
While community remains important, the onus to develop ourselves has been put on the individual. We are being asked to navigate our own way through the world and labour market. It’s not a skill we learn at school. We have to go inside in order to succeed outside.
A multi-cultural world.
As the world globalizes and people of different cultures ‘mix’, both literally and symbolically, we need to develop deeper understandings about ourselves and our own preconceived notions, both about ourselves and others. Bridge building is the essential task of educators and those who would contribute positively to the new world of work.
The trends described above also mean that the necessity to do ‘emotional labour’ at work and in life has increased. We have to be able to ‘meet’ the other and develop tailor-made solutions for clients and students. This requires being in touch with ourselves and we can do so by cultivating the internal conversation, the prerequisite for fostering a fruitful external conversation.
The story of who we are (and who we no longer are) is what needs unearthing, constructing, and articulating. Our thriving in the 21st century depends upon it and we can do this in a playful, yet structured ways.
We can follow our bliss by getting acquainted with what matters to us.