From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Its Never Too Late To Change Careers!
Career counselors report vastly changing trends in the world of work today. In the
past, workers might have hoped to begin and end their careers working for the same company
throughout their lives. Today, however, research indicates that workers are changing
careers about every ten years. Along with everything else, people are now
"recycling" their careers. Here are a few suggestions to assist those who are
trying to adapt to the changing realities in today's world of work.
- Let's face it...the rules have changed. The work place used to be a lot more
predictable. Whereas seniority with an organization used to be a benefit; now its a
liability. Last hired used to be first fired, and so on. But changing economics have also
changed the value placed on human labor. Its not news that we're replaceable. So,
employees must be willing to take action to protect themselves against unemployment.
- Take time to think about your career. Some people choose their life's work in
childhood and continually move in that direction throughout school. Others may graduate
high school without a clue as to their true interests in the world of work. Fortunately,
it is never too late to change job tracks in America. We are free to pursue our former
interests and free to develop new ones. The greatest limitations are more likely to be
those which we place on ourselves.
- Make a commitment to continue learning. Education no longer stops at a certain
point during youth. Because things change so rapidly in this modern world, people can no
longer afford to stop learning. But in order to continue learning, we must adopt the habit
of continually setting new educational objectives for ourselves. We must continually set
Whether we prefer to learn from books, audiotapes, videotapes, classrooms, real-life
experiences, or computer simulations, we can plan our own courses of study. Learning
experiences are practically guaranteed to come with skill-building and self-esteem. All
around us, continuing education courses are being offered because people have recognized
the side of themselves which loves to learn. Whether you were one of the best or one of
the worst students as a kid, its a lot more fun to go to school as an adult.
- Expect and prepare for change. The workplace no longer offers its former
stability. Both minor and massive lay-offs take people by surprise. The shock of being
laid off or fired often triggers a process of despair in those who are caught by surprise.
Surprises in the workplace should now be expected, and workers are well-advised to develop
back-up career options. Career interest tests are designed to help us identify different
types of work that we like to do. The philosophy behind these interest inventories is that
if we like what we do, we will probably be good at it too, or at least, willing to work
hard enough to become good at it. Changing trends in the work place require that we change
our expectations. Realistically, people can no longer expect to be taken care of by their
employers. We must take care of ourselves by continuing to develop new interests, new
skills, and new hobbies which allow us to continue to grow. As the future becomes less
certain, we must become more certain of our ability to learn, and give ourselves
permission to relearn the things we missed the first time around. There may be many sides
of ourselves which have been heretofore undiscovered. Take the challenge! Learn something
new; you'll get to "like" yourself a little better.
ęCopyright, 1997, 1999, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated February 27, 1999 by Gary M. Grandon,