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Career/Life Planning

Excerpts from an address titled

Career Planning For Youth: Changing Themes For Changing Times

My work related to career/life planning stemmed from my work in stress control. Much of my initial work after I moved to Calgary focused on the types of situations that adolescents found stressful. We found that one of the most frequently expressed stressor, and one of the most intense worries, centered around the question: “What do I do after high school?” This finding was corroborated by other colleagues working with adolescents in Calgary and by several national studies. At it’s heart, this issue concerns career/life planning and it seemed to many of us that working in the field of career development and career education was good preventive stress control.

Most career/life planning programs for children and youth include two predominant themes.

Youth today life in a very different world than their parents

Society today is undergoing more change than at any time in the past AND the rate of change is accelerating

The High Five (+One): A Changing Theme for Changing Times

  1. Change is constant
    • The only thing certain is that nothing is certain.
    • People with a job for life are downsized.
    • One job for life is not a realistic goal.
  2. Focus on the journey
    • The journey is all you can count on.
    • Getting there is not half the fun - as the airline add says, getting there is all there is!
    • Occupational destination is a thing of the past.
    • For career/life planning, we need a new metaphor, perhaps a tree with branches, or walking path with many branching paths.
    • Focus on the journey because the destination may not be there when you arrive.
  3. Follow your heart
    • How many adults make BIG career changes at 45 or 50 years old, they take “the package” and change to something they always wanted to do.
    • An important past of career/life planning is to discover your passion, and let it provide direction.
  4. Keep learning
    • Life-Long Learning is not a choice, every one will continue to learn throughout their lifetime.
    • Life-Long Learning is really a question of how much you want to be planful about what you learn or leave it to chance.
  5. Access your allies
    • Most people are aware that about 80% of job placements have never been advertised, the job opening comes by word of mount.
    • Thus it is to develop an extensive network and explore the informal network when looking for work.
  6. Believe in yourself
    • You are all you can count on.
    • If you don’t believe in yourself, how can other people?
    • Look at what you say to yourself, and learn to BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND.