Career & Work Life Matters
Vol 1, no. 1.
2009, June 25
Hello. My name is Jennifer Bradley.
Let me begin by welcoming you to Career & Work Life Matters.
My intention is to provide you with information and resources that I hope you will find helpful in managing your career and your work life.
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Understanding Changes in the World of Work
Every week I meet clients who are dealing with profound and sometimes sudden changes in their lives resulting from changes in their employment.
Job loss is not new. But the current recession brings it closer to more people. Unemployment is in the headlines. More individuals and their families are dealing with career and life transitions. Even if you are not, you probably know someone who is.
A career today no longer means the same thing as it did 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Did you know that the word career is originally derived from medieval Latin and French words for road and wagon?
Richard Knowdell, (internationally recognized author and founder of the Career Planning and Adult Development Network) uses the transport metaphor to describe how the world of work has changed over time. He compares changes in careers to trains, buses, and all-terrain vehicles.
As he explains, managing your career was once like train travel. Now it’s like driving an all-terrain vehicle.
1. Travel by Train: Follow a Pre-Designed Path
When you travel by train, you choose your destination, buy your ticket, get on the train.
When you chose your career, did you expect to have a path to follow? Traditionally, career success meant working your way up in the organization. But a predictable career path is no longer a reality.
2. Travel by Bus: Make Transfers Using the Same Vehicle
Managing careers became more like riding a bus. Transfers were
possible and even necessary as technology developed and jobs changed.
But you could probably expect to continue in a similar line of work.
3. Use an All-Terrain Vehicle: You Drive and Create Your Own Path
Today’s world of work is very different. Jobs and opportunities change rapidly. There is no definite career path to follow. This results in new demands to adapt quickly and more frequently. To be successful you need a different kind of vehicle. An all-terrain vehicle, that enables you to move forward even when there is no clearly defined path.
Who’s Driving? Which Vehicle are you Using?
Do you feel as if you have the right vehicle to move ahead?
Dealing with the uncertainty of career transitions can be very stressful. This stress can make it difficult to focus.
To be successful, you need to explore new directions, but at the same time move forward.
If it’s a while since you’ve had a career change, taking the driver’s seat in an all-terrain vehicle may be daunting. But being the driver doesn’t mean that you can’t get help and support.
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