3-8 Avoiding Career Ruts and Surviving Career Catastrophesدوره: Mindshift- Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential / فصل: Learning and Careers / درس 8
3-8 Avoiding Career Ruts and Surviving Career Catastrophes
Wherever you are in your career path, whether young, mid-career, or even in retirement, it can help to keep your eye on the big picture of societal trends in relation to your special skills. On a side note, I wish I had a dollar for every older student I've had in my engineering classes, who like me, followed their passion, and spent a lot of money to get a first degree in a subject that was difficult to get a good job at. Even great scientists like Francis Crick, the Nobel Prize winning co-discoverer of DNA made a point of changing his area of focus to keep himself fresh as he grew older.
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Wherever you are in your career path, whether young, mid-career, or even in retirement, it can help to keep your eye on the big picture of societal trends in relation to your special skills. When I was young I followed my passion into a box of having a single special skill, the ability to speak a second language. I didn’t think or plan to complement that ability with other skills that could give me more flexibility in the job marketplace. We know that language and culture are important. But in today’s society, technological, scientific, and mathematical literacy and expertise are of increasing importance, as well. So if you have a soft-skill area of interest, it can be a good idea to balance that with some technical or analytical skills. But likewise, if you already have sharp analytical skills, it can be a good idea to enhance your talent stack by working on your soft skills such as speaking ability or writing. On a side note, I wish I had a dollar for every older student I’ve had in my engineering classes, who like me, followed their passion, and spent a lot of money to get a first degree in a subject that was difficult to get a good job at. I’m not saying engineering is the only field to study, although I will admit to a little bias for engineering as good general training in today’s society. But be aware how easy it can be during the career selection process to fall into a sheeple mentality. Where you and your friends don’t find out until it’s too late that you’ve put yourself into decades of debt studying a favorite subject that’s better off as a hobby than as a career. What if you get fired or laid off from a job? A valuable point to keep in mind here is what I’ll call, the golden rule of career catastrophes. And that is, it is never as bad as you think it is at the time and there is always a silver lining. Almost always as a result of being either fired or laid off, you ultimately find yourself happier in the long run. Even Pete Best, who was kicked out of the great band The Beatles, right before they went on to world fame, was able to find a wonderful silver lining in his career catastrophe. After his ousting from the band, he would go on to meet his wife, the great love of his life. Keep in mind that it’s not usually a good idea to become too settled for too many years doing the same job. You can slip into a career rut that can be difficult to get out of. Even if you’re doing a variety of activities for your work, your mind can still be following into the route or rut. Which means it can gently be moving towards stagnation. In any case, you may think you have the perfect career, but things can change in a heartbeat. One simple swap in management can mean an upheaval. Even great scientists like Francis Crick, the Nobel Prize winning co-discoverer of DNA made a point of changing his area of focus to keep himself fresh as he grew older. At age 60 he switched from the study of molecular biology to the study of consciousness. This is something like spending your life as a construction worker and then deciding you’re going to switch to become an expert in creating great embroidery. The result, Crick’s lively intellect retained its sharp ability to focus until his dying day.
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