Games such as Minecraft can make excellent analogies for communicating the nature of career and career management to young people (and adult gaming enthusiasts!).

The traditional concept of career as a ladder may exist for a few but many face a more complex future, awash with choices and unpredictable twists and turns. The one-off decision matching model is insufficient as young people facing continuous change and several roles throughout their learning and working lives.

In the game of Minecraft, the gamer has to create their own world (it is not laid out like a traditional game), using blocks of skin, water, lava, earth and brick. To do this they require tools such as a shovel, bucket, compass, pickaxe and sword. The analogy is hopefully crystal clear – the blocks are their personal qualities, skills, qualifications, whilst the  tools are career management competencies such as resilience, self awareness, decision making, problem solving.

Attached is a presentation on the use of this metaphor delivered at the Northern Ireland Schools and Colleges Association conference in November 2015. The delegates were asked to undertake a matching game in which they identified which career management competencies and personal resources could be represented by Minecraft tools and blocks. This simple activity could be used with young people to communicate the modern nature of career (the “Protean” concept) and to reflect on their career development strengths and needs. This is also attached – feel free to use but please acknowledge the source.

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Presentation delegates slides

Minecraft activity cards