November 23, 2010

Something we've not told our students: "any notion of career-planning is ridiculous"

Russell Davies

Russell Davies and Matt Jones speak sense in Wired:

"...We're facing working lives far, far longer than [the garden centre moguls] ever imagined. Medical and health technologies are going to nudge, prod and support us well into our hundreds, and economic and demographic forces are going to insist we keep working for most of that span. (Perhaps that's why so many of us are reluctant to actually get started?) Many of you reading this can anticipate working lives of more than 100 years. Which, on the upside, makes any notion of career-planning seem ridiculous -- the wisest response is most probably to do whatever is fun and remunerative at the time. Entire industries are arriving and then disappearing within the span of a single working lifetime -- and this will not get any better. The idea of working your way up the ladder seems faintly ridiculous when said ladder is being set on fire from below, dismantled from above and no longer has anything to lean against.

"My friend Matt Jones has posted some of his thoughts about this on his blog: "I'm going to be 40 soon. I find myself thinking about how to become a sustainable/resilient 50-yearold… 50 might be halfway through… it might only be a third of the way through my life. I've been very lucky for the past 20 years. What the hell am I going to do with all that time? How will I be able to pay my way? How do I stay involved and useful?" These are good questions, and ones I couldn't begin to answer, except that I'm sure older life is not going to be about careers; it's going to be about learning to learn and being ready and willing to start all over again. And it's going to be work that involves a lot of sitting down. Because extending our lives is one thing, keeping our knees going all that time is another."

Photo of Russell by Matt Patterson

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Students are now moving into management as they believe that the "extra" knowledge, skills and education they have adopted from University give them an advantage to a management role. Students fall into the trap of thinking that they are guaranteed a job after University and find it hard as they have been spoon fed everything. I myself am a student and I got into project management after University after I had taken PRINCE2 training. If you are looking for a well recognised position, which is relatively easy to get, become a project manager with this training qualification.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

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School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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