17 March 2017 • by Kimberley Brewster
Career Writing changed my life
Mijke Post, a lecturer in Communication, has a mission: to expand the teaching of ‘Career Writing’ within THUAS. ‘During a first impression, we often only see the differences. Career Writing – the sharing of personal stories – gives us a chance to discover similarities. This develops a sense of security, openness and equality,’ says Mijke.
Career Writing is a combination of creative, expressive and reflective writing. The ‘Career Writing method’ offers ways to move on from the ‘first story’ (the conditioned or fixed story) to a ‘second story’. This is known as ‘identity learning’: learning to tell a new story about yourself in which language and imagery are consistent with your emotional responses.
Research conducted by Dr. Reinekke Lengelle, a professor teaching at both THUAS and Athabasca University in Canada, has shown that Career Writing has a positive effect on the career competencies of students. In addition to the personal growth gained by these students, Career Writing also contributed to their personal dedication to academic achievement. Besides acquiring knowledge – hard skills – students also have to gain soft skills to make their way in today’s society.
Mijke first became acquainted with Career Writing in 2010 during a course that was offered at THUAS. The course had been developed and then taught by Reinekke who had received her PhD from the University of Tilburg in 2014 having written her dissertation on this subject. The course inspired Mijke so much that she used the course material to develop an elective module called ‘Personal Leadership’. Mijke’s efforts didn’t remain unnoticed and were specifically mentioned by Leonard Geluk during his New Year’s speech. This year, Mijke introduced a module called ‘Life Story’ for first-year students in the full-time Communication degree programme.
Mijke: ‘Working with students by using Career Writing is absolutely wonderful. I also join them in writing during these classes, and we share our stories. In this module, students get the chance to work on things that would normally whizz past them in their everyday lives. It’s an opportunity to take the time to think about events in their lives. We write about these things and then look at them more objectively. Writing helps you learn to understand why something happens and why it triggers certain emotions. It’s a way of learning how to cope with a situation.’ Mijke receives high praise from her students who are excited about their development in such areas as creativity, writing skills, leadership, productivity and coping with stress. ‘One student even told me: “You changed my life”.’
‘Ultimately, I simply want to make the world a better place… on a small scale,’ says Mijke with a wink. Students in Facility Management are already using Career Writing when writing their internship reports, and the faculty is even exploring ways to use Career Writing throughout its degree programmes. Mijke and others interested in Career Writing also want to develop an expertise centre making it possible to continue research in this field and to assist, train and advise people in applying this method.
If you are interested in a Career Writing course or want to know more about applying Career Writing to education, feel free to contact Mijke Post at email@example.com or visit her in OV. 4.67. Want to read more? Check out Mijke’s LinkedIn profile: https://nl.linkedin.com/in/mijkepost.
Photo: Mijke Post