"The past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future.
- Marilyn Ferguson
I want to talk about when career discovery is important in a person’s life. I get asked a lot about whether Sokanu is applicable for people that aren’t “young”. When people hear the phrase “find a career” they automatically assume that it has to be for a student, either in high school or post secondary. Why? I’ve never understood this - even though I understand that this is the common thought.
Nearly every single person will at some point be faced with the choice - “what do I do for work?” For a large percentage of people, this choice may be forced or pigeonholed due to circumstances. But ever-increasingly, this choice is becoming more and more open. No longer do people decide on their career based on what their parents did (or do). In today’s world, people have a plethora of choice as to where to go and what to do.
However, this is causing some serious problems. The theory of Paradox of Choice comes into play here (more choice is actually worse for us). There are tons and tons of careers, each with their own characteristics and unique nature.
How do we choose? Where do we start? How can we learn more about each career? This is, by definition, career discovery. It is the process of starting from ground zero, and establishing three things:
- Who am I as a person?
- What are the characteristics of each career? How can I learn about “what” each career represents?
- How do I match or “fit” with each career?
These questions should arise whenever your “work” state of mind changes. Of course, you can have a state of mind shift from a student to a working person, but this is just one case. Some others can be:
- Making the decision early on as to what career to go after, and how that affects your school choices (both high school & post-secondary courses)
- Transitioning from being a parent to entering back into the workforce after 20 years
- Being laid off from a position and trying to enter back into the working world
- Not being happy in a current career and wanting to switch
Each of these targets a different age and situation - but all have one thing in common. The mindset shared by the person is the same. The question - “what do I do next?” is the most important question. This is what career discovery represents - a starting point. A place to come to evaluate that mindset and then leap to another point. While your education, family circumstance and age may differ - the way you should approach your career should be the same. The “next steps” after that is what differs.
Do you know what you want to do next?