Sunday, September 6, 2009

Careers in the 24th Century--Support Tools and Reality Checks

In this 21st Century, research has indicated that people can expect to change careers 12 times and have many more jobs.  Some of the same literature talks about the fact that jobs have not even been thought of yet while thousands are finishing bachelors and masters degrees to prepare them for jobs that are already obsolete.  Shift Happens 2008 (Did You Know 2?) is an eye-opening sequel to Shift Happens (Did You Know) first released in 2007.

Not only are traditional job search and recruiting tools obsolete, so, too are many of the career preparation tools.  One tool that I found useful in working with students in middle and high school is  If you are interested to see what I did with it, visit the Footprints Project page of my wiki space for middle schools.

I completed the career skills questionnaire my students would be expected to complete (117 career-skill-related questions) and Career Cruising came up with a list of 40 careers (jobs) my choices matched to.  I was doing this to test the validity of the software as a tool and was impressed that, of the 40 choices, in the course of my career I have worked in 14 of the jobs listed--and still I have always done the same thing (in a wide variety of ways).

What I do--I make a positive difference in the world by helping individuals and organizations learn to change to improve their quality of (business) life now and for the future.

It's amazing to me that I've done that in 14 jobs already, and sometimes more than once in any given job.  What's even more amazing is that I haven't had more employers in the course of 40+ years of working.
Reality Check:  The order of careers was based on my preferences and I was amazed by how my experience in these careers was reflected in the questionnaire.

Change is Upon Us

When I went back to graduate school in 1985, I wanted to get a doctorate that would let me work with adults and organizations who needed to learn how to change. My doctorate (which I completed in 1992) did prepare me to help adults and organizations learn to change and my post-doctoral Master of Arts in Teaching (completed in 2008) prepared me to extend this service to children as well. 

I invested about $200,000 in my doctorate degree in terms of tuition, books, and loss of income while a full-time students.  Much of what I learned was timeless.  I know this because in my dissertation research I tracked the origins of reflection on learning concepts to the time of Confucius--about 300BC. (For a full-text copy of the dissertation [ATT9229831] visit this link.)

Since earning my doctorate, I have worked with thousands of people and more than 60 organizations in helping each learn how to improve their quality of life.  My investment was worth every penny. 

My goal now is to find ways to share what I do with more people.  Can you help?  If so, contact me through my Wiki Project page.

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