This post is all about dealing with those who don't understand the importance of career development. I hope it is helpful for those who work in career development (either directly with clients or indirectly if you are a teacher or parent and just want your student / kid to start thinking about their future!).
Let's imagine my most favourite career development nay sayer - the person who says they have life by the tail and got it ALLL figured out.
To them I say this:
Life is going to throw you some curve balls - all of us get a chance to manage them or be managed by them. The smoothness of how you handle challenges in life can be boiled right down to a few key areas:
- knowing your opportunities and how to research them,
- identifying your support network,
- having a goal setting strategy,
- stress management and resilience building opportunities.
If you think you have life all figured, oh boy, that's when a surprise will come along and bam, you are on your butt.
You think you got it sorted out that you will be on the farm or on the boat for the next 30 years? Guess what? I have worked with so many trades people who have either had an accident or their bodies have just not been able to maintain the same level of stress after 10 years. If you are relying on your body to work, know that it will only serve you for so long. Working in the trades is an awesome option, but know that there will be an evolution for your work as well over time. You might think you will be hiring someone to do the heavy lifting down the road...that leads me to the next point:
You need to keep building your knowledge and skills
In a nutshell, our global economy has resulted in each of us needing to become strategic in what skills to hone and add to our toolbox - and all of us are impacted by our global economy. To ignore life-long learning is leaving your career to chance.
Some of my clients had to make education / career decisions based on what was going on with their family. Staying home to help a sick relative, take care of children, elder care, etc. Other people in our lives can have an impact on our decisions, delay our own career direction or take us right off track.
We all need a plan B
Nothing in life is guaranteed. The labour market, our skills, interests, and values are all moving targets. But with career development knowledge, help from your support network and perhaps a career development practitioner you can craft your plan B, C and D with confidence.
Oh and by the way, realize that there are no wrong turns in your career journey!
Money, Money, Money