There is No Career Plan?

There is No Career Plan?

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Did you know, that only 2% of adults claim to be working in the occupation they planned when they were eighteen years old?* Yet, most of us want to have a set career plan that won’t change and stick. And, we like to think that our career will unfold according to “the plan”. 

There is no linear path to a career. Traditionally entering university, we all had an idea of what we’ll be doing after obtaining a certain degree. Sure, English majors will become teachers and someone w ith a chemistry degree could become a chemist. However, a chemistry graduate can also find a career teaching ESL in Japan, someone with an environment degree can be a fundraiser for local nonprofit organization and a Geography graduate may be an editor at a major publishing house. 

If you ask people about their career decisions, almost 70% of people say that they have been significantly influenced by unforeseen events.**  Unplanned events, such as a casual conversation, temporary job, an exchange, becoming sick or even being laid off or fired, determine life and career choices more often than all the careful planning does. And along the way, you will influence and be influenced by those who are around you– family, friends, professors and coaches, co-workers. Natural disasters, rapidly changing technology and the world economy are also something that may influence our career choices. Whether we like it or not we will be influenced by and will influence lots of things in life.  The point is, you never know what’s going to happen.

So, don’t limit yourself, think outside of your box. Take some time during your day or week to just simply think. Think about yourself, what your interest and strengths are, what skills and knowledge you have obtained in classes, volunteering and through extra-curricular activities, what you want and what’s important to you. Then, think of some ways to further develop yourself as a person. Then put some of those ideas into action. You never know what or who might change your life along the way. You are in university, EXPLORE!


*Luck is no accident: John D. Krumboltz & Al S. Levin

**The Chaos Theory of Career: Robert Pryor & Jim Bright

Posted on May 24, 2012