Season 2,
50 Min

Episode 73: How do we choose our career?

October 16, 2017

Many of us listening to this podcast are on a track now…we’ve been through school, chosen to specialise in some area and are now out in the working world. But what happens when we want a career change? Or if we leave one career and start looking for another kind of work? And what can we do to help our kids who are going to have to go through this process for themselves? Perhaps we should even ask whether ‘career’ is even a relevant term anymore??

This week Clay and Sarah discuss how we go about choosing our career, whether it’s our first or our seventeenth…


In this episode:

* Clay and Sarah’s own experiences being advised on career options

* the history of inheriting the work of your father or mother

* Is more career choice making our lives easier or more confusing…?

* Personality in career choice

* Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millenials as defined by attitudes to work

* Is the idea of ‘career’ an outdated concept?

* Is the advice ‘find something you love’ a good way to choose your career?


In times past, our working lives would have been laid out for us.  For men, if our father was a shoe-maker, farmer, blacksmith etc. that is what we would have done as well. For women, domestic chores and raising children would have dominated our working lives.

The fact that we are released from the predetermined fate is something we all celebrate. But did we create a new level of anxiety, stress and depression by destroying that model and telling people they can be whatever they choose to be if they work hard and apply themselves?

In other words, as the perception of expanding career choice grows into a realm of ‘infinite possibilities’ and as the story continues to be told that ‘if you work hard, you can do anything’… how do we ever choose what kind of work to do?

And as many of us have children who are growing up faster than we can believe and will have to start making these kinds of choices — what they like, what they’re good at, what is ‘realisitic’, what is economic — how do we help guide them?

Because we spend a majority of our waking lives at work. But the reality is that we live in a society where few people seem to genuinely enjoy their work. Is it that we work too much? Is the automation of jobs that was supposed to release us from mundane tasks actually doing to opposite — turning us into specialisation tools, cogs in a machine?

Robert A Heinlein once wrote, “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialisation is for insects.”

I’ll leave you with that, one of Clay’s favourite quotes. Hope you enjoyed the conversation and remember to drop in to Facebook, Twitter @Havanapodcast or Instagram @HavanaPodcast and tell us your thoughts!

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