Workplace Identity, Transition and the Role of Learning

  • Geoffrey Hinchliffe


I wish to explore, in this chapter, the complex process involved in making transitions into employment. And by employment here, I do not mean simply the business of ‘getting a job’ but rather what is involved in finding an occupation which will sustain a person over a good number of years, if not a lifetime. As a starting point, I propose to take the conclusions of a small piece of research that I undertook, which examined the transition of graduates from university into full-time employment. These moments of transition affect very many people at different points of their lives – changing careers, re-entering work following a period of childcare or even changing employment within an occupation or a related occupation. I will argue that these moments of transition cannot be successfully managed simply through the acquisition of a new bunch of skills and techniques, although this is a very necessary part of what is required. Transitions go much deeper and compel a person to think in terms of their own workplace identity, comprising values, skills and knowledge. Transitions need not occur when one is unemployed, and of course the condition of unemployment (usually involving lack of income) adds its own pressures which may not assist a transition.


Technical Skill Lifelong Learning Interpersonal Skill Workplace Learning Liberal Learning 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institude for Work Based Learning College HouseMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

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