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Inspiring Your Continuous Professional Development - September 2019

12 09.19

Celebrating age and longevity

This month’s newsletter focuses on a good news story: increasing longevity. This affects current schoolchildren (many of whom will live to 100 years) as well as every stage of the workforce. It creates the need to bust some of the negative myths about older workers.

CPD Newsletters offer ideas, not compulsory activities. Just remember that undertaking 25 hours of CPD each year is a condition of registration for Registered Career Development Professionals. For all members, undertaking CPD meets the principle in the CDI Code of Ethics relating to professional development.

Choose items and activities – here or elsewhere – that suit your role and your style so that you can explore a topic, interact with others and create a reflective record in the Members’ Area of the CDI website


Would you like to get old?

Yes please! The alternative is distinctly unattractive. A TED talk by Ashton Applewhite Let’s end ageism tackles ageism head-on, referring to it as ‘prejudice against our own future selves’. The ‘Learn more’ link from this TED talk takes you to useful resources for businesses and educators, strongly contextualised to the USA, but full of ideas which could be adapted.


Checking out demographic change

Demographics and workforce supply are an aspect of LMI. It is therefore a useful CPD activity to update yourself on life expectancy, both by country and within the UK. In Overview of the UK population: August 2019 (ONS) choose section 6: The UK’s population is ageing. An interactive map lets you explore population age bands (under 16; 16-64, and 65+) at ten-year intervals from 1998 to 2038, with detail at local authority level.


Long life starts early …

Social determinants of health (Public Health England, 2017) reports inequalities in child development, educational achievement and employment, with click-through options in every section to see how your local area compares.


… and continues …

Health state life expectancies (ONS, 2017) reports life expectancy at birth and from age 65 years, by sex and for the four countries of the UK; it includes an interactive map (Figure 5) which gives this data for every local authority area.


Longer careers – preparation at school

Reports on health and longevity highlight the part played by work and income in longevity. It is an aspect of career choice that can be introduced in careers education, with recent research suggesting that teenagers appreciated ‘understanding their life time-line’. This is reported by Clark & Parry (forthcoming edition of the NICEC Journal, October 2019, free to CDI members) who describe a programme delivered to school students and their parents, which centres on explaining the workplace and work trends for the future. This alerts us to the need for career education in school to expose out-of-date assumptions and explore new realities. As well as the ‘Overview of the UK population’ (above), another useful resource for doing that is this BBC/Nobel Media article Why we lie about being retired which focuses on those choosing to stay in work beyond their 60s, but also differentiating between types of work in this respect – a relevant discussion topic for younger people looking at the implications of career choice.


Mid-life career thinking

The desire and need for a career review around the age of 50 years has had increasing attention over recent years. The Mid-Life MOT: a summary of developments gives an overview and links to websites. Related resources are provided by Unionlearn: Supporting mid-life development, including their useful card-based or online Value My Skills tool, and Centre for Research into the Older Workforce (CROW).


Retirement as a transition

Career development professionals may work with older people at mid-life and at the point of helping them to achieve a planned exit from the workforce, rather than leaving in an unplanned way: a transition, not a cliff-edge. The government’s Fuller Working Lives strategy sets out in Chapter 1 the financial costs to individuals, businesses and the economy of early workforce exit.


Satisfaction or precariaty?

But it is not just an economic issue. Through their work role, people gain identity, social interaction and a daily rhythm. In an academic paper The psychology of working theory Blustein at al (2017) consider how ‘decent work’ contributes to an individual’s survival, social connection and self-determination. This theme of satisfaction versus precariousness is elaborated in two slide sets from a recent CROW seminar Transition from work to retirement: extended or precarious working lives


Retirement is no longer clear-cut

In fact, recent research (WHERL, 2017) shows that 25% of people who ‘retire’ will ‘un-retire’ in some form. There’s an apparent paradox that people who are least likely to need more money are most likely to un-retire, but it is worth delving behind those statistics. Better-off people may have had more rewarding jobs (in every sense), may have the social capital to obtain new employment, and may be in better health to do so – all factors carrying forward from the inequalities highlighted in the earlier sections.


A challenge for career professionals?

Yes, but the CDI is poised to develop its support for you. Planning is well-advanced for a Community of Interest for those working with older people, and the CDI is organising an older workers summit - "Everybody Needs Us”: Creating Equal Employment Opportunities for the Over 50s – on Wednesday 4th December, at the same venue as the CDI National Conference (2-3 December 2019), the Hilton Hotel, Gateshead. See for further details, which will also be included in News by Email.


The NICEC Journal 43 – in press

In October you will receive access to the next issue of the NICEC Journal, a benefit included in your CDI membership. As well as the article mentioned above, look out for the article by Laura Walker (winner of the Bill Law Memorial Award 2019) who writes on late-career decision-making as a process of ‘dis‑covering’ more of themselves – ‘more of me’. The findings are set out using a visual schema which is unique to the author and very helpful for use by practitioners. Her image of 'dancing with fear' is powerful, and reminiscent of Bill Law’s use of imagery in helping practitioners to apply lessons from research to their practice.


Using our LinkedIn groups – including a new one!

The CDI has long had a number of LinkedIn groups for members, which are a good place for discussing professional development issues and personal dilemmas with other members. A new, moderated group for Career Leaders is launching in September, so if your work includes school-based activities, it could be a useful community for you.

Existing groups are:

National groups Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

Community of Interest groups Careers Education | Independent Coaches and Consultants | Learning Difficulties and Disabilities | HE Advisers | Research | Older workers. Visit the Communities of Interest.


Recording and reflecting on CPD – new web area now open

Access is through Your CPD diary > in the CPD Area.

Reading, talking and reflecting on topics and resources such as those above all count towards your CPD hours as long as you write a short reflective report in your CPD Record. It would be timely to undertake some small (or large!) CPD activity and then explore the new way of recording what you have just done.

Did you know? You can now record parts of an hour (e.g. half an hour recorded as 0.5 hours) making it easier to capture spontaneous events, as described in the Career Innovation resource above.


If you have any issues with the new pages please email and we will be able to sort these out for you.

For any questions relating to CPD Recording please contact:


Finally ….

In preparing this CPD newsletter, its creator found her new way to describe her age: ‘I’m a little less young’.


Dr Lyn Barham
Project Associate (Research)

(If you have any questions relating to this email please contact