3-5 Mindshifting – What to Do in the Face of Opposition

دوره: Mindshift- Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential / فصل: Learning and Careers / درس 5

3-5 Mindshifting – What to Do in the Face of Opposition

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One important rule of thumb, is to avoid going into debt while learning new skills at the field you're hoping to move into is poorly paid. With the dabble approach, you simply start gradually learning in the new area, either online, through reading or by taking local classes. If you are a friend, parent, or mentor, of a potential mind shifter, try your best to remain open to other people's ability to change.

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One tough challenge is deciding when young people should be directed towards a specific career, because this decision can have reverberations that can last throughout people’s lives. In some parts of the world, students are sorted into career paths early on. At age 16, for example, they may be sent to either vocational training for the skilled trades or towards more academically oriented training. In other parts of the world, this choice is sometimes delayed. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these approaches. People choose career paths for all sorts of reasons. In some countries, the parents often make the choice, regardless of what their kids want to do. In other countries, the students themselves often make the choice, despite the fact that they may have almost no real world experience with the job choice they’re making. Or sometimes, people simply come from a background where they’ve had no previous access to quality education or even to any proper education at all, which means that their career choices are limited from the outset. Or people can be on a very wisely chosen career path but then once they’re exposed to new opportunities and insights, they may want to change. Career change, and change of all kinds, is easier to do in some countries and cultures than others. And, of course, it can be easier to jump from some disciplines than others, age is also a factor. But as you probably gathered, my own sense is that well thought out career change, and change of any kind, whether a small shift to acquire a different set of skills that enhance your abilities to do your job within your company, or a major shift to a new career. Forms of vitally important, creative fuel for all societies. One of the biggest hurdles to changing career paths or a change of any sort can be well meaning friends, parents, and colleagues. It’s not like this sort of push back from others is necessarily a bad thing. It makes you consider your choice very carefully. One important rule of thumb, is to avoid going into debt while learning new skills at the field you’re hoping to move into is poorly paid. There’s something very wrong in spending a large amount to acquire a new knowledge or new skills, only to be poorly paid when you ultimately get out on the job. If you are considering career change or even simple second skilling, here are a few tips for dealing with the push back from others, who might want you to stay the way you are. With the dabble approach, you simply start gradually learning in the new area, either online, through reading or by taking local classes. This is a slow approach. But it can also help ensure that you, yourself, can gradually grow with the change, which will make the transition less jarring for all involved. The double life approach is much more intense than dabbling. With this approach, you basically compartmentalize your life and avoid talking to people about what you’re trying to do. This can be a more stressful way to tackle your change, but it can have an advantage. It can prevent others from trying to talk you out of your goals because you’ll appear to be continuing just as usual. For example, you may continue working as a musician while you’re taking side courses to prepare you for a career in health care. And then there’s being a contrarian. Take pride in being a contrarian. The more others say you will fail, the more it can help bolster your internal resolve. Keep in mind, however, that it’s important to choose reachable and doable interim goals and check points to assess your progress. For example, if you tried as hard as you can, but repeatedly get very low scores on the test to get into medical school, it maybe time to reassess your dream of going to medical school.

And don’t forget that who you are is not just you. Who you are also depends on your environment. This means, that by changing your environment, you can speed up the process of mind shifting. I shifted from physics to biology by immersing myself in the best neuroscience environment I could find. I picked up a lot of facts, but much more important, was what I learned by osmosis without conscious awareness of what it was I was learning. I learned how to think like a biologists, by being around biologists and interacting with them. I did make a conscious effort not to fall back on what I had been, a physicist and mindset and skills of a physics. I took a vow of physics poverty to remain open to what was new around me rather than revert back to the old thought patterns. This approach also works for learning a new language, you get to observe the culture along with the language.

In your attempts at career change, you don’t want to minimize important considerations. Like whether you’ve got at least the basics of what it might take to succeed. Be willing to solicit and listen to valid criticism about how you can change and improve. You don’t want to be like the cluelessly bad karaoke singer, warbling haplessly into the night because his friends always told him he was great. If you are a friend, parent, or mentor, of a potential mind shifter, try your best to remain open to other people’s ability to change. And if you’re the one who’s making the change yourself, count yourself lucky if those around you are supportive, and use the opportunity to enjoy your new learning path.

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