Hundreds of years ago odds were good that if your last name was Smith, you were a blacksmith as was your father and his father before him. Fast forward to today where the pace of technological and social change is so rapid that you can count on multiple careers within your lifetime let alone continuing your parent’s career. Jobs will always be subject to change now. Thus taking the reins of your career and preparing for change is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity!
I’ve mentioned before the engineer who turned industrial photographer and business consultant turned non-profit founder. Since then, I have met social workers transitioning into the police force and software developers moonlighting in photography. More and more people are broadening their career “identities”. These people have a unique ability to create new opportunities for themselves and go after them. There is fulfillment, I believe, in taking control of creating your career rather than letting the career dictate who you are.
How well are you developing your career creation ability? Here are some places to look.
First, throw away this notion that you are a ___________ (fill in the blank with the name of position, title, social standing) because one day it may no longer fulfill you or the needs of the world (a fancier way of saying that you might get sick of your job or your job might become obsolete).
We have an identity much bigger than the limited definitions we give ourselves. Too often we let society dictate what is or isn’t important. Social status, climbing the corporate ladder, or having a big house and a family are all fine goals, but we are socialized to believe it without question. What if you took a break from the usual, looked around the world, and thought about it…
What is really, truly important?
What is important to your family?
To your great grandkids?
To the city, country, world they will live in?
What is important in your life to honour from the past?
In your deathbed?
If this seems a little too abstract for you, then I encourage you to take any one of these practical steps to begin or continue your exploration… in no particular order, off the top of my head:
I would recommend shutting down that fear of “yeah, but… (insert common fears of any potential change)” and imagine instead “what if” and “what would it take…”. What if you were a meaning-seeking human being with many capabilities the most valuable of which is the ability to learn and adapt to ever-changing circumstances? What would it take to live it?
Have fun experimenting for as long as it takes! More to come in the next article on paths to your career path.
Chris Hsiung BSc. CPCC
HUMAN Venture Coaching
Chris Hsiung graduated with distinction from the University of Calgary in Electrical Engineering. He is a certified professional coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He is learning, teaching, presenting curriculum through Leadership Calgary. Currently he runs a practice (U Venture) guiding and coaching professionals who are choosing to engage in pioneering life challenges.