As a Career Consultant I feel reasonably qualified to state that good career advice recognises you as an individual, different from anyone else in your abilities, talents, aspirations and motivations, the challenges your personal circumstances presents you with and the further challenges of the job market and economic environment. A Career Consultant can provide you with the space, personal support, and tools to examine what ‘makes you tick’ and the place work has in the wider context of your life.
The rewards of work and working are well researched. At one end of the spectrum are those for whom a job is about earning money by doing tasks that are in the main enjoyed and where there is a good match to the skills and attributes required for job success. The tolerance for work tasks that are not enjoyed varies considerably and may be mitigated by remuneration or workplace relationships, with some able to tolerate work that they enjoy perhaps only 25% of the time while another’s tolerance for unsatisfying work will be considerably lower. At the other end of the spectrum are those for whom work is a vocation, a source of fulfilment that extends beyond producing an income and may be part of a profound desire to make a difference in the world.
Whatever the work driver is, to earn an income or pursue a vocation, the need and desire to ‘pay your way’ in the world is paramount for the majority. Career advice can assist in the journey to understanding the person you are in the context of the ‘working’ world. But this takes time. Try to set aside an hour a month to think about ‘life after Vic’. What information, qualifications, skills and experience will you need to make your career ideas or plans a reality?
I leave you with a provocative article that I came across two weeks ago “The Worst Career Advice – Do What You Love?” When an individual is completely lost with no career ideas and no occupational understanding, and therefore at the very beginning of the career exploration process, a commonly used and very successful approach is to begin by looking at activities and experiences that the individual has enjoyed. The reverse approach is also useful – to investigate tasks and experiences that have not been enjoyed. This can be a very productive starting point but is just that – a starting point! Let me know what you think of the article.