“The big OE”: self‐directed travel and career development

“The big OE”: self‐directed travel and career development "OE" is overseas experience - periods of "working holiday" undertaken by young people autonomously exploring other countries and cultures. This paper investigates OE and considers its effect on career development. OE is a world-wide phenomenon, but has special significance in Australia and New Zealand, where it is undertaken as a "rite of passage" by many young people. The paper reports results from an interview study of 50 OEs undertaken by young New Zealanders. It focuses on predisposing personal and situational factors prompting OE, the unplanned and improvisational nature of OE, the main forms of OE, and its apparent consequences for personal development and subsequent careers. The evidence suggests that OE brings benefits but that the process is complex and unpredictable because of confounding forces such as non-career travel agendas and personal relationships. The special value of OE to careers in current conditions requiring greater self-direction, flexibility and internationalisation is emphasised. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Career Development International Emerald Publishing

“The big OE”: self‐directed travel and career development

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1362-0436
DOI
10.1108/13620430310482553
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

"OE" is overseas experience - periods of "working holiday" undertaken by young people autonomously exploring other countries and cultures. This paper investigates OE and considers its effect on career development. OE is a world-wide phenomenon, but has special significance in Australia and New Zealand, where it is undertaken as a "rite of passage" by many young people. The paper reports results from an interview study of 50 OEs undertaken by young New Zealanders. It focuses on predisposing personal and situational factors prompting OE, the unplanned and improvisational nature of OE, the main forms of OE, and its apparent consequences for personal development and subsequent careers. The evidence suggests that OE brings benefits but that the process is complex and unpredictable because of confounding forces such as non-career travel agendas and personal relationships. The special value of OE to careers in current conditions requiring greater self-direction, flexibility and internationalisation is emphasised.

Journal

Career Development InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 1, 2003

Keywords: Travel; Personal development plans; Work experience

References

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