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Do we live in a VUCA world?

UCL Careers7 July 2014

VUCA is an acronym used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations. The common usage of the term VUCA began in the 1990s within US military and has subsequently been used in emerging ideas in strategic leadership that apply in a wide range of organizations, including everything from for-profit corporations to education.

The business sector has been talking about a VUCA world for a couple of years now, suggesting the turbulent environment is real and is here to stay.  Is this the “new normal”?  And if so, can we really prepare for a VUCA world?

Dan Simpson, Head of Talent at Siemens UK believes that we should! In order to survive in the VUCA world, we need to change our perception of work.  In this brave new world, work is less location-specific and more network-based.  Your networks are key!  You will take them with you throughout your career regardless of employer or location.

In our VUCA world, we must acquire and, more importantly, continuously update our skills for success.  We need to be prepared to take advantage of different learning methodologies: bite-sized learning in TED talks and MOOCs.  The ability to acquire life-long learning, the ability to reflect and adapt to new ideas is and will become increasingly invaluable.

Whether or not VUCA is the “new normal”, there is no doubt that the world is being shaped in this way.  Dan Simpson at Siemens UK specifically searches for candidates who are able to recognise the importance of networking building, reflecting and updating skills. To prepare for the unknown can only be a good thing.

To find out more about VUCA and how to prepare for the unknown, sign up to the University of London’s Employability MOOC which runs until 25th July.

– Helen West, Careers Consultant, UCL Careers

Are you looking for additional help with your career?

UCL Careers2 April 2014

This post originally appeared on the Develop your Career blog

If you’re still a current student, then you may well already be accessing your own College careers service.  But if you need some extra help, or have left your College, you may like to take part in a unique careers MOOC.

The Careers Group, University of London is launching the Enhance Your Careers and Employability Skills Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) commissioned by the University of London International Programme on 27 May 2014.

Not sure what a MOOC is? Watch this video:

Hosted on the Coursera platform, The Careers Group’s 6-week course is the first of Coursera’s MOOCs to be aimed at any student who wants to explore their career management and employability skills, regardless of their discipline or background. The aim of the MOOC is to be complementary to any other course of study as it enables students to recognise their own strengths and skills. Participants on the MOOC will also be shown how to best articulate those skills and experiences to future employers and academic institutions.

Laura Brammar, a Senior Careers Consultant with The Careers Group and one of the course instructors said:

The Careers Group has produced a really unusual MOOC in the sense that, unlike many other MOOCs that are all based around a discipline, this Careers MOOC is going to be of interest to pretty much everyone. Because whether they’re at the initial stage of their career or coming up to retirement, who isn’t going to find topics such as self-awareness and skills development interesting?

And also, the fact that often people are doing MOOCs with an eye to their career development anyway, it’s a way of super-sizing the MOOCs you’re already doing by thinking how you could feature them in your future career development.

The Careers Group has produced a really unusual MOOC in the sense that, unlike many other MOOCs that are all based around a discipline, this Careers MOOC is going to be of interest to pretty much everyone. Because whether they’re at the initial stage of their career or coming up to retirement, who isn’t going to find topics such as self-awareness and skills development interesting?And also, the fact that often people are doing MOOCs with an eye to their career development anyway, it’s a way of super-sizing the MOOCs you’re already doing by thinking how you could feature them in your future career development.”

The unique structure of the course aims to help participants analyse their previous experiences, expectations and attitudes, both professionally and personally. Participants will also engage in a range of activities which are designed to help them improve key employability documents, such as their CVs or cover letters. The course syllabus includes the following modules:

  • Week 1: What do you want? – Self Awareness
  • Week 2: What can you offer? – Skills Awareness
  • Week 3: Are you ready to find success? – Career Readiness
  • Week 4: How do you express yourself? – Articulating Your Experiences
  • Week 5: What impact do you make? – Making a Good Impression in Person
  • Week 6: How do you build fruitful relationships? – Networking Online and in Person

To learn more and join the ‘Enhance Your Careers and Employability Skills’ for free visit www.coursera.org/course/career