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When I grow up, I wanna be a…

When I grow up, I wanna be a… published on 6 Comments on When I grow up, I wanna be a…

I don’t know what a high school guidance counsellor’s job looks like these days, at least on the career-advice side. But I’d have to think it involves a certain amount of throwing up of hands and answering kids’ questions with a “You tell me.”

Back when I was in high school (yes, yes, back when I rode to school on a coal-fueled barge and the skies were black with passenger pigeons and ivory-billed woodpeckers), careers had well-defined paths that were expected to take you through your working life. That’s not quite how it worked out for my graduating class; our career paths forked, spiralled and went downright fractal on us.

Maybe we should give up on trying to predict the precise career options that will face today’s crop of fresh faces, and ask instead what skills will make the most sense in a socially networked world. (“Extracting surgically-implanted RFID tags” sounds like a winner right out of the gate.) Conversational authenticity, exercising sound judgement in deciding what to share and with whom, acting online and offline with intention and integrity – these all strike me as pretty critical, not to mention being building blocks for just being decent people.

6 Comments

I really, really hope that's changing, Rachel – I hate to think either of my kids will face too many people trying to close off opportunities to them because of their gender. (Or am I misjudging your guidance counsellor? Was he a frustrated would-be scientist who wanted to spare you the pain of his own thwarted dreams? Or was it a school in a town where the only employer was a ballet school, and generations of parents had become ballerinas, each hoping their children would be able to escape that dreary life, move to the big city and become millworkers, but that hardly ever happened and he was just trying to be realistic?)

Each time I ask my daughter what she'd like to do when she gets older, I get one of several different answers ("scientist" is one of them). I'm kind of hoping she's right each time. (My three-year-old son told me yesterday what he'd like to do when he grows up: "build holes for ants."

[…] Things might not be that bad for you who are today work in the HR field for some company, even though you might not be thrilled by this automatic service. Routines will always be there and a part of our job regardless of positions. However never before have we in such a demand of individual career consultancy, competence development and morale strengthening. All that is actually the essential value of a HR job that somehow is lacking today. Even a career coach can act sometimes like a kindergarten teacher rather than an inspirational source to adults. Like the one in the cartoon. (Check out the cartoon creator’s post here.) […]

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