Wednesday, November 09, 2016

How do I choose the right career?

The question was, "How do I choose the right career?"

My answer was, "You can’t."

Other responders told you things about how to choose your right JOB, but a job is not a career. Maybe before the 21st century, the world of work was sufficiently stable that one could choose a career, but not longer.

For instance, I’m an old guy so I’ve had sort of a career—in computing. But back in the 1940s, when I asked this question, computers didn’t even exist. At least, none of my career counselors knew of them.

And even for the 20th century, I’ve had a rather stable career. My wife, on the other hand, started out to be a concert pianist, then became a musicologist, then a piano teacher, then an anthropologist, then a management consultant, then a world-class dog trainer, and right now is an animal behavior specialist. She works primarily with canines, but until she was 33 years old, she was deathly afraid of dogs.

In other words, don’t try to choose the right career, but prepare yourself for choosing many careers throughout your working life. Learn the fundamental skills that will serve you well in all your future careers, whatever you choose, whenever you choose them—people skills, problem solving, and systems thinking are what come to my mind as things you'd need in all careers. 

That's why I've studied these things, teach them in workshops, and write books about them.

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