Career Creation, Self-Cultivation|October 1, 2008 11:58 am

Creating Your Career Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from the Creating Your Career web seminar. This clip provides an introduction to seeing your career as a life journey in the context of larger historical forces.

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by
Chris Hsiung BSc. CPCC
HUMAN Venture Coaching
uventure.net

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.

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3 Comments

  • I found this excerpt to be an interesting teaser related to a topic I have been informally studying for a few years; not to mention the fact that I am, right now, just embarking on an unexpected career move.

    Your references to the break between livelihood (food comes from the earth) and the move to a time when wealth could come from labour or toil, followed by where many of us are now; trying to find meaningful work seemed very clear to me.

    I’m likely going outside the topic of your full session, but I have been thinking that alienation from nature, and the emergence of post-primary production economies (where populations become engaged in unproductive, but paid activities) has led us to a world where increases in standard of living, and increased formalization and specialization in career choices has left a void surrounded by the ominous pressures of society. I am surrounded by a materialistic world that has forgotten that it originated from survival and personal connection/protection; where many jobs and careers have become meaningless and disconnected. Adapting in an environment of unprecedented (scientific and technological) capacities and highly sophisticated ways of managing information is daunting and confusing; different challenges from the generations before us, by far.

    I imagine the topic you present in its full seminar provides some insight into the strategies whereby one can marry the distance between simplicity and complexity, or meaningful and useless so one can make a career path for themselves that they find purposeful and worthy… not to mention fun.

  • Well said Lori. If you look at the transition say from a hunter-gatherer society to the kind of society that built the pyramids. The quality of life for the slave that worked on the pyramid was brutal compared to the hunter-gatherer who “works” probably 15 hours a week. When building the pyramid, life does become disintegrated because you’re given a small piece and told that this is your lot in life (when it isn’t).

    In other words, it’s not easy to do meaningful work in a society that wants to build pyramids.

    The trade-off is of course that hunter-gatherer societies could not compete as well against highly organized societies that had armies and the ability to build massive projects.

    That is not to say that we should go back to a hunter-gatherer society. There can be fulfillment in building a pyramid. My hope is that in today’s world, companies are realizing more and more that they need individuals that are integrating their economic life with the rest of their life… and furthermore that companies are a part of Earth (rather than the other way around).

    The more people try to create meaningful careers the more companies will have to adapt and for the better!

  • “Change means opportunity but only for those who adapt.”

    I think that is my favourite quote from this video because it is so telling. I believe that several of the challenges we are facing are the result of an inability – or unwillingness – to adapt.

    Let’s consider the big three automakers: GM, Ford and Chrysler. These companies are highly traditional with little regard for perturbations to their conceived ‘model’ of how the world works. When the consumer became concerned about climate change, these companies refused to meet the consumer where the consumer was at. How this relates to careers is when we consider that the employee base at the companies are a collection of individuals who, according to the media, were quite averse to learning new methods of production that were required for, say, hybrid vehicles. If this is true, then these are people who refused to adapt to their surroundings despite keeping the same job. If they refused to learn new methods of production within the same job, then imagine how they will be faring when they are laid off and forced to find new work altogether.

    I recognize that this example may or may not be true (I haven’t spoken with reps from the big three or any of their employees), but the story still holds. Refusal to adapt within a job – or career – must exacerbate the difficulties associated with changing a career in its entirety.

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