Thursday, March 14, 2019

Choosing a Career: An unconventional approach

Most people end up in their career sub-optimally:
  • They fall into their careers by chance.
  • They pick from a few common choices: doctor lawyer, teacher, electrician, psychologist, etc.
  • With a career advisor, human, video, computer, or text, they inventory, abilities, skills, interests (if they have them, passions), and values.
The latter approach would seem optimal but it’s not:
  • It too often yields unrealistic goals—For example, the person dreams of making a solid living as an environmentalist, performer, sports executive, or visual artist. Unless you’re brilliant, talented, connected, or dogged, ideally all the above, they'll why the words “starving” and “artist” so often adjoin.
  • Most careers don’t require a narrowly constrained set of attributes. For example, there are introverted and extroverted psychotherapists, brilliant and merely workmanlike ones, sciencey and feeling-oriented ones.
  • There are tens of thousands of careers, most that have many variants. Even with a computer to screen careers, you’ll be (not very validly) matched to a few from just a few hundred. Much better fits could remain buried.
A better way?
In my article today, I offer an approach that would seem to balance ease with accuracy.

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