Design a Meaningful Career is an open online course open for everyone who wants to take their career to the next level in a creative and conventional way. Register for the course here.
Design a Meaningful Career
Field of study:
Please note that this course is a self-directed open online course.
This course shows how you can direct your career in a world where career tracks have all but disappeared. Career design is a creative and flexible approach for navigating this uncertain and unpredictable world of work. It is based on contemporary career theories that focus on career adaptability and active construction of meaning and identity. The overall purpose of this course is to help you design a career that is sustainable. A sustainable career is made of employability, health, and well-being in the long term.
The course has been authored by specialists in the field of career design and is supported by academic reading materials. Design a Meaningful Career is an open online course. The course material is divided into five (5) chapters.
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- Find the course here.
- Get acquainted with the course contents. The course consists of five chapters, each divided into several sections. The course content is available both in text and audio format and are supported with videos by Aalto University alumni who share their career experiences.
- After each section, there is either a multiple-choice quiz or self-reflection assignment.
- In order to successfully complete the course, you will need to pass all assignments.
- After successfully completing the course, you can download an official Aalto University course Certificate on the Future of Work platform.
- Register now for the course. For Aalto University students, remember to enrol on the course Design a Meaningful Career MNGT-C1012 on Sisu if you want to receive 2 ECTS.
- After completing the course, you can download the official course Certificate on the Future of Work platform.
- You can share your course certificates in the Certifications section of your LinkedIn profile, on printed resumes, CVs, or other documents.
Chapter 1: The career is dead, long live the career
How are careers changing? In this chapter, we develop an understanding of different concepts of careers, the changes in the forms of employment, and their consequences on the individual. We will also learn more about the elements of sustainable careers and the role of self-leadership in the changing societal and cultural contexts.
Section 1: The many meanings of career (Assignment: Reflection)
Section 2: From tracks to gigs? (Assignment: Quiz)
Section 3: Sustainable careers (Assignment: Reflection)
Section 4: Key takeaways (Assignment: Reflection)
Chapter 2: What's your narrative?
In this chapter, we will explore a narrative approach to careers and its usefulness for designing careers in the changing world of work. We will examine the fundamental role of narrative in our lives and how culture shapes the narratives we use to make sense of our careers and to create our identities.
Section 1: From scores and stages to stories (Assignment: Reflection)
Section 2: Narratives we live by (Assignment: Quiz)
Section 3: The moral of the story (Assignment: Reflection)
Section 4: Key takeaways
Chapter 3: Pursuing meaningful work
What is meaningful work? In this chapter, we investigate various understandings of what meaningful work is and explore its benefits. We also look at some key challenges, myths, and false narratives about meaningful work and identify key pathways to identifying and creating meaningful work.
Section 1: The what and why of meaningful work (Assignment: Reflection)
Section 2: Don't discover your calling – Expelling the myths of meaningful work (Assignment: Reflection)
Section 3: What makes work meaningful – Four pathways (Assignments: Quiz and Reflection)
Section 4: Key takeaways
Chapter 4: Radical career creativity – Using intuition and design
How can you use creativity and design thinking in your career? This chapter gives you an overview of the relevance of creativity and design thinking in your future career, the role of intuition in career design and decision-making and how to apply design thinking tools to envision your future.
Section 1: The power of creativity and design thinking (Assignment: Reflection)
Section 2: Unleashing your intuition (Assignment: Quiz and Reflection)
Section 3: The creative design process (Assignment: Reflection)
Section 4: Key takeaways (Assignment: Reflection)
Chapter 5: Conclusions
In this final chapter, we'll conclude the course by going through how to understand the context of your career, how to author your own career narrative and how you can design your career path with creativity and intuition.
Kirsi LaPointe, D.Sc., is a senior advisor at Aalto University’s Career Design Lab. Her expertise focuses on career identity, transitions, and meaningful work, and she is particularly interested in creative and narrative approaches to understanding and facilitating fulfilling and sustainable careers. Prior to her current position, she has worked as a lecturer, researcher, facilitator, and consultant in Finland and the U.S. Kirsi is an alumna of Aalto University’s School of Business where she defended her dissertation on narrative identity work in career transitions in 2011.
Frank Martela, PhD, is a university lecturer at Aalto University, a philosopher, and a researcher of psychology, specialised in the question of meaning in life. His quest is to understand what to do, value, and aim for in this unfolding experience called human life. He investigates the fundamentals of happiness, meaningfulness, human basic needs, and good life to deliver insights that can help each of us to live a slightly better and more self-chosen life. His book A Wonderful Life – Insights on Finding a Meaningful Experience (HarperCollins 2020) has been translated into 25 different languages. Frank is an alumnus of Aalto University’s School of Science where he defended his dissertation on compassion and caregiving in 2012.
Asta Raami, D.A., is an intuition researcher, educator, author, and founder of Innerversity. Asta has worked 15 years in the academic field and has written several books on the use of intuition as a factor in expertise and the general skills of work-life as well as on harnessing the potential of intuition in visionary and radical innovations. Asta is an alumna of Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design, and Architecture where she defended her dissertation on the development of intuition in creative processes in 2015.
- To understand the nature of radically changing career dynamics and the core skills for creating a sustainable career in the future of work
- To recognise the role of narrative in increasing self-awareness, creating meaning, and adapting to changes
- To understand the nature, benefits, and challenges of meaningful work and how to pursue meaningfulness in your career
- To understand the importance of creativity in career design and how to use intuition and design thinking to support career decision-making and adaptability
The total course workload of 54 hours (2 ECTS) is divided as follows:
- Online course core content 20h
- Class preparation/readings 14h
- Quizzes and reflections 20h
The course is graded as pass/fail.
For Aalto University degree students: In order to receive 2 ECTS and a Certificate, first enrol on the course Design a Meaningful Career MNGT-C1012 on Sisu and then register your account here. If you don't want 2 ECTS, don't enrol on Sisu.
For non-Aalto University degree students: Register here to create an account. After logging in, click on Design a Meaningful Career, and press ‘Take this Course’ on the left.
Certificate: After successfully completing the course you will be able to download an official Aalto University course Certificate with a unique verification code from the front page of the course and from the My Courses tab on the Future of Work platform.
You can share your course certificates in the Certifications section of your LinkedIn profile, on printed resumes, CVs, or other documents.
Read more about the Certificates.