Dramatic changes in business and in industry caused by the impact of new technologies, world pandemics and ecological challenges call for new paradigms of career and life planning beyond the traditional, logical, rational matching of people and jobs or the “trait and factor” approach.

Sunny Hansen’s Integrative Life Planning Model (ILP) is a holistic approach to planning one’s life course. Integrative Life Planning is a way to think about Career Development drawing on Career Development theorist Donald Super’s concept of career as the development and implementation of a self-concept with satisfaction to self and benefit to society as a sequence of roles a person holds in a lifetime, of which occupation is only one.

The ILP framework identifies six critical tasks or life themes that people will need to attend to as they plan for the future. These are:

  1. Finding Work that Needs Doing in Changing Global Contexts – such as promoting the constructive use of technology, preserving the environment, promoting economic opportunity, addressing world population issues amidst a redefinition of work, changes in the work-family relationship and in the relationship between employer and employee, and the discovery of new ways of knowing.
  2. Weaving Our Lives (Labour or Work, Love or Family, Learning, and Leisure) into a Meaningful Whole – which includes mind, body, spirit as well as social, intellectual, physical, emotional and career development and a balance of work and other life roles.
  3. Connecting Family and Work – with greater understanding and negotiating of roles in work-family tensions or conflicts in changing societal and work contexts.
  4. Valuing Pluralism and Inclusivity – with the development of interpersonal attitudes and skills that help them understand the world of “the other”.
  5. Exploring Spirituality and Life Purpose – the human need to explore the core of the person for integration and wholeness, regardless of religious beliefs. Spirituality is linked with meaning and purpose, the core of the self that gives meaning to life.
  6. Managing Personal Transitions and Organisational Change – with a consideration of transition models such as Bridges’ “Endings and Beginnings”, Brammer’s “Life Transitions” and Schlossberg’s “Adaptation to Transition” for personal transitions and decisions. There is a need to also consider changes in business environments and shifting organisational structures which affect personal careers.
Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Hansen uses the metaphorical concept of a quilt to represent ILP in that one puts together and understands the different parts of one’s life to help one to become more conscious of the ways in which these different parts, family, work, learning and society are changing and how these will have an impact on their life planning in the twenty-first century.

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