Tag Archives: Choosing A Vocation: Finding Your Calling

No need to kill all the lawyers, they are dying of natural causes

14 Nov

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Moi is an Emeritus Attorney, she practices pro bono law and no longer works for fees. She still gets the bar magazine called the NW Lawyer and this month’s edition is designed to smack the barristers into reality. First, there is the article, The First Thing We Do: Let’s Kill All The Lawyers http://nwlawyer.wsba.org/nwlawyer/november_2013#pg26

The real reality check comes from Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) President Patrick A. Palace as he opines on the state of the profession in the article, Game Changers at page six:

The Changing Profession

Some lawyers blame the loss of business on the economy and are waiting for the good times to return. Others complain that they are under attack by unauthorized practitioners and we need to build more protections, but most agree that practicing law is getting harder. And there are specific reasons practice is getting harder. http://nwlawyer.wsba.org/nwlawyer/november_2013#pg9

Palace goes on to describe the challenges of law practice in detail and offer some possible paths to surviving the environment. This is a must read for anyone considering a career as a lawyer

The career conundrum starts early. Kelsey Sheehy posted at U.S. News the article, Study: High School Grads Choosing Wrong College Majors:

Teens are selecting college majors that don’t match their interests, according to a new report, but experts say that is OK.

Choosing the right college major is almost as important as choosing the right college.

Majors give students direction and allow them to map out their path to graduation. Some majors, such as engineering, information technology or accounting, also help prepare students to enter a specific career field.

Students who select a major that matches their interests are more likely to stick with it and finish their degree on time, but few high school graduates are choosing a major that suits them, a report released today by ACT Inc. finds.

Almost 80 percent of ACT test-takers who graduated in 2013 said they knew which major they would pursue in college. Of those students, only 36 percent chose a major that fit their interests, according to the study. ACT used answers from the exam’s Interest Inventory, which asks a series of questions to determine career areas where a student might excel.

This disconnect isn’t exactly surprising, says Beth Heaton, senior director of educational consulting at College Coach, an advising firm.

A former regional director of admissions for the University of Pennsylvania, Heaton has read thousands of college applications. She now advises teens trying to get into college.

“The vast majority of them have no idea what they really want to do when they grow up. Even the ones who claim that they do,” she says. “How can you know? If you’re 16, 17, 18, you know so little of the world….” http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/high-school-notes/2013/11/11/study-high-school-grads-choosing-wrong-college-majors

Here is the press release from ACT:

Many Students Select a College Major That Doesn’t Fit Their Interests Well

November 11 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa—Only about a third of ACT®-tested high school graduates selected a college major that is a good fit with their interests, according to a new research report from ACT titled College Choice Report Part 1: Preferences and Prospects. The findings suggest that high school students need more help planning for college and career—and that the majority want such assistance.

ACT’s research looked at the 79 percent of ACT-tested 2013 high school graduates who reported a college major that they planned to pursue, comparing their ACT Interest Inventory profile with profiles of college students in the same program of study. Students complete the ACT Interest Inventory when registering for the exam. Interest profiles for students with the same majors were based on a national sample of undergraduate students with a declared major and a grade point average of at least 2.0.

Although the majority of ACT-tested graduates selected a major that was at least a moderate fit with their interests, only 36 percent selected one that was a good fit, while nearly as many—32 percent—selected a major that was a poor fit with their interests.

“It’s important for students to have the information they need to make the best decisions about their future,” said Jon Erickson, ACT president of education and career solutions. “They should be made aware that choosing a college major that reflects their interests will give them a better chance of succeeding and could also contribute to their satisfaction and happiness in school and on the job.”

Previous ACT research has suggested that students whose interests are similar to those of people in their chosen college majors are more likely to remain in their major, persist in college and complete their degree in a timely manner. Students who change their major while in college may have to take additional courses to satisfy degree requirements or even transfer to a different institution, potentially delaying their graduation.

ACT’s report indicates that a student’s intended major can play a significant role in which college he or she chooses to attend. Half of those students who indicated a planned major reported that the availability of a particular major was the most important factor in selecting a college.

“Students who start out with the right major choice can save significant time and money, which is increasingly important given the rising cost of attending college,” said Erickson. “Far too many colleges require students to select a major without looking at how well the students’ interests fit with their intended program of study.”

The ACT report suggests that students would welcome help with their planning. Around three out of five ACT-tested 2013 graduates indicated that they needed assistance with their educational and occupational plans. Among students who were undecided on a college major, the number indicating that they needed assistance rose to more than seven out of ten.

“We must do more to help students connect their majors and, ultimately, their careers to their interests, so they can be on a path for success,” said Erickson. “ACT offers a number of free resources to help students plan for college and career, and we are working to develop more to help in this area.”

ACT’s free resources include the World-of-Work Map, which is included with every ACT score report, and the new ACT Profile, the first college and career readiness social community. ACT’s website for students, http://www.actstudent.org, offers other free college and career planning resources, including tips, checklists, and information on topics such as academic preparation, choosing a college major, choosing a college, and applying to colleges.

ACT will release the College Choice Report Part 2 in July 2014. http://www.act.org/newsroom/releases/view.php?lang=english&p=3064#.UoUmc3rYZWA.

Moi is not picking on the legal profession, but she is making a point that what might have looked like an optimum career path in past years may not be the path for the future. Dennis Smith has a good brief article at College Recruiter. Com, Choosing A Vocation: Finding Your Calling

“What do you want to do with your life?”

I’ve heard everything from,

“I want to be the VP of Engineering!”, to “I don’t really know what I want to do….I only know what I don’t want to do.”

In my opinion, both answers are good. I’ve known engineers that knew they were going to be engineers from their mother’s womb. I’ve known others who, like myself, enjoy doing so many different things that they graduate from college not having made specific plans for the day after graduation.

In making this decision, the mistake made by many of us is that we too often listen to the multitude of voices that are willing to offer up advice about what “we” should be doing with our lives. As my grandfather used to say, “That advice and a nickel will get you a cup of coffee.

What is it that matters most? What is it that you want to do more than anything? What makes you truly happy? What is it that makes you “alive?

Curt Rosengren says,

“If there’s one thing I’ve discovered over the years, it’s that just about anything we set our minds to is possible. Moreover, one of the biggest – if not the biggest – obstacle we face lies smack dab between our ears. We’re so often overcome with fear of what might go wrong that we don’t dare to even take a step.” “But….what would you do if you were brave?”

Students should be thinking about what is the appropriate life balance for them. http://www.collegerecruiter.com/blog/2006/12/12/choosing-a-vocation-finding-your-calling/

Another important part of career or vocational selection is life balance.

WebMD and the Mayo Clinic have some good suggestions about life balance.

WebMD advises in 5 Tips for Better Work-Life Balance:

1. Figure Out What Really Matters to You in Life

2. Drop Unnecessary Activities

3. Protect Your Private Time

4. Accept Help to Balance Your Life

5. Plan Fun and Relaxation

http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/protect-health-13/balance-life

The Mayo Clinic has tips for striking the proper work-life balance http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/work-life-balance/WL00056/NSECTIONGROUP=2

A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.

Albert Camus

After two weeks of working on a project, you know whether it will work or not.

Bill Budge

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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I-Best adult education prepares adult education students for employment

5 Nov

Moi wrote in The International Baccalaureate program and vocational students:
There is an “arms race” going on in American Education. More people are asking whether college is the right choice for many. The U.S. has de-emphasized high quality vocational and technical training in the rush to increase the number of students who proceed to college in pursuit of a B.A. Often a graduate degree follows. The Harvard paper, Pathways to Prosperity argues for more high quality vocational and technical opportunities:

The implication of this work is that a focus on college readiness alone does not equip young people with all of the skills and abilities they will need in the workplace, or to successfully complete the transition from adolescence to adulthood. This was highlighted in a 2008 report published by Child Trends, which compared research on the competencies required for college readiness, workplace readiness and healthy youth development. The report found significant overlaps. High personal expectations, self-management, critical thinking, and academic achievement are viewed as highly important for success in all three areas. But the report also uncovered some striking differences. For instance: while career planning, previous work experience, decision making, listening skills, integrity, and creativity are all considered vital in the workplace, they hardly figure in college readiness.
http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/features/2011/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011.pdf

There is a reluctance to promote vocational opportunities in the U.S. because the is a fear of tracking individuals into vocational training and denying certain groups access to a college education. The comprise could be a combination of both quality technical training with a solid academic foundation. Individuals may have a series of careers over the course of a career and a solid foundation which provides a degree of flexibility is desired for survival in the future. See, Why go to college? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/
https://drwilda.com/2011/11/29/the-international-baccalaureate-program-and-vocational-students/

Kavitha Cardozo of NPR reported in the article, How To Turn Adult Education Into Careers, Quickly:

From The Classroom To The Workplace
Students going through this program are pretty typical of what you’d find in any adult education class across the country. They’ve often dropped out of high school, have low levels of reading and math, many don’t speak English fluently.
Through this program, they can take college-level courses and earn certificates in any of the almost 200 courses offered, from medical billing to welding to building maintenance.
I-BEST programs teach students specific skills that employers value.
Millions of adults who grew up speaking a language other than English are still held back by their language skills..
Students at Shoreline Community College have just finished the theory portion of an auto mechanics class, where they learned about the physics of manual transmissions. Then it’s a quick change into overalls and the hands-on part begins.
This class isn’t child’s play though. Instructor Mark Hankins says students have to learn the complex systems of today’s cars so at the end of the program, “they can go out and do a brake job, they can do fluid replacement, they can do inspections.
“And those are the kind of jobs that there’s a big need for,” he says.
All I-BEST programs have to demonstrate that students can get jobs paying a living wage when they graduate. In most parts of Washington state, that’s $13 an hour.
C.J. Forza says his brain “just clicks with engines.” He dropped out of school in the 12th grade; he’s now 31. He loves cars so much he works part time in a mechanic shop already. Forza’s now learning the “why,” not just the “how,” of repairs.
“Instead of just guessing at what it is, I’m more able to figure out, OK, this issue can be caused by this, this or this,” he says.
Like most adults here, Forza is managing many responsibilities, without much money to hold his life together. But he sticks it out because he can see exactly what the connection is between this class and his career.
At the end of one year, Forza will have a certificate in general auto mechanics and will see his pay jump from $10 an hour to $15.
“I want to be the breadwinner of my family. I have a 3-year-old daughter that I need to raise. I want a career not a job,” he says.
‘Not Everybody Has Bootstraps’
Instructor Hankins says this program really does make a difference.
“I have a student that is now a general manager of a dealership, and I’m sure he’s making two or three times more salary than I am right now,” he says with a laugh.
It can take years before adults in typical adult education programs can take college courses. But what makes I-BEST unusual is that it shortens that time by bypassing the GED exam completely. Students in a Washington state community college program who earn an associate’s degree can receive a high school diploma retroactively.
I-BEST’s Erickson says that when people talk about the program’s success, they often focus on the numbers and the model and the research. But at its heart, she says, I-BEST is about giving people another chance.
“A lot of people will say, ‘Why can’t they just pull themselves up by their bootstraps?’ But not everybody has bootstraps or even boots,” she says.
Erickson says if we can create opportunities to get more people educated and into the workforce, why shouldn’t we?
http://www.npr.org/2013/11/02/241897572/how-to-turn-adult-education-into-careers-quickly?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=

Here is a description of the Washington program from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.:

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training
(I-BEST)
________________________________________
Washington’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (I-BEST) is a nationally recognized model that quickly boosts students’ literacy and work skills so that students can earn credentials, get living wage jobs, and put their talents to work for employers.
I-BEST pairs two instructors in the classroom – one to teach professional and technical content and the other to teach basic skills in reading, math, writing or English language – so students can move through school and into jobs faster. As students progress through the program, they learn basic skills in real-world scenarios offered by the job-training part of the curriculum.
I-BEST challenges the traditional notion that students must complete all basic education before they can even start a job-training program. This approach often discourages students because it takes more time, and the stand-alone basic skills classes do not qualify for college credit. I-BEST students start earning college credits immediately.
A Benefit to the Economy
Talent and skills determine the competitive edge in today’s economy, yet one out of every six people in Washington lacks the basic reading, writing and math skills to get living-wage jobs and meet the needs of employers. This segment of Washington’s population is growing quickly at the same time that most jobs now require college experience. By 2019, two-thirds of all new jobs in Washington State will require at least one year of college education.
In order to have a vibrant economy, Washington employers need access to skilled, credentialed workers and all residents need access to opportunities that allow them to earn a living wage.
In Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges, I-BEST pairs workforce training with ABE or ESL so students learn literacy and workplace skills at the same time. Adult literacy and vocational instructors work together to develop and deliver instruction. Colleges provide higher levels of support and student services to address the needs of non-traditional students. There are more than 170 approved programs, expanding each year since the 2006 launch of I-BEST. State Board staff provide colleges with technical assistance and information on best practices to ensure low-income students successfully complete integrated programs and find family wage careers.
Why I-BEST Was Developed
The SBCTC developed Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) to address the changing needs of employers and students. It tested traditional notions that students must first complete all levels of adult basic education before they can advance in workforce education training programs.
In Washington state, over half of the students come to community and technical colleges with the goal of getting to work. Research showed that students were not transitioning to higher levels of education.
“Only 13 percent of the students who started in ESL programs went on to earn at least some college credits. Less than one-third (30 percent) of adult basic education (ABE/GED) students made the transition to college-level courses. Only four to six percent of either group ended up getting 45 or more college credits or earning a certificate or degree within five years.”
Building Pathways to Success for Low-Skill Adult Students:
Lessons for Community College Policy and Practice
from a Longitudinal Student Tracking Study
(Prince, Jenkins: April 2005).
I-BEST moves students further and faster to certificate and degree completion. As a result, I-BEST was designed to directly transition into college-level programs and help students build skills that will move them forward.
The I-BEST Model
• I-BEST programs must include college-level professional-technical credits that are required of all students in the selected program and are part of a career pathway.
• All students must qualify for federally supported levels of basic skills education.
• Students must be pre-tested using CASAS (the standardized test used statewide to assess ABE and ESL students).
• An instructor from basic skills and an instructor from the professional-technical program must jointly instruct in the same classroom with at least a 50 percent overlap of the instructional time.
• Faculty must develop integrated program outcomes, jointly plan curriculum, and jointly assess student learning and skill development.
• I-BEST programs must appear on the demand list for the local area and meet a minimum set wage.
Questions about I-BEST?
Contact Louisa Erickson, SBCTC, lerickson@sbctc.edu or 360-704-4368.
Top of page
© 2013 Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
http://www.sbctc.ctc.edu/college/e_integratedbasiceducationandskillstraining.aspx

There shouldn’t be a one size fits all in education and parents should be honest about what education options will work for a particular child. Even children from the same family may find that different education options will work for each student.

Resources:

Vocational Education Myths and Realities
http://www.fape.org/idea/How_it_works/voced_myths_8.html

Vocational Education in the United States, The Early 1990s
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/web/95024-2.asp

Related:
The International Baccalaureate program and vocational students https://drwilda.com/2011/11/29/the-international-baccalaureate-program-and-vocational-students/
What is the National Association of Manufacturers ‘Skills Certification’ https://drwilda.com/tag/vocational-education-career-mapping/
Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping
https://drwilda.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/
Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

What is the National Association of Manufacturers ‘Skills Certification’

20 May

Moi wrote in The International Baccalaureate program and vocational students:

There is an “arms race” going on in American Education. More people are asking whether college is the right choice for many. The U.S. has de-emphasized high quality vocational and technical training in the rush to increase the number of students who proceed to college in pursuit of a B.A. Often a graduate degree  follows. The Harvard paper, Pathways to Prosperity argues for more high quality vocational and technical opportunities:

The implication of this work is that a focus on college readiness alone does not equip young people with all of

the skills and abilities they will need in the workplace, or to successfully complete the transition from adolescence

to adulthood. This was highlighted in a 2008 report published by Child Trends, which compared research on the competencies required for college readiness, workplace readiness and healthy youth development. The report found significant overlaps. High personal expectations, self-management, critical thinking, and academic achievement are viewed as highly important for success in all three areas. But the report also uncovered some striking differences. For instance: while career planning, previous work experience, decision making, listening skills, integrity, and creativity are all considered vital in the workplace, they hardly figure in college readiness.

http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/features/2011/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011.pdf

There is a reluctance to promote vocational opportunities in the U.S. because the is a fear of tracking individuals into vocational training and denying certain groups access to a college education. The comprise could be a combination of both quality technical training with a solid academic foundation. Individuals may have a series of careers over the course of a career and a solid foundation which provides a degree of flexibility is desired for survival in the future. See, Why go to college?https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

https://drwilda.com/2011/11/29/the-international-baccalaureate-program-and-vocational-students/

Now, there is a new program in community colleges. According to the NAM site, NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System:

Close the Skills Gap! Take Action Now!

  • 82% of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled production workers.

  • 75% of manufacturers say the skill shortage has negatively impacted their ability to expand.

  • 600,000 jobs in manufacturing are unfilled today because employers can’t find workers with the right skills.

To help close the growing skills gap, the Manufacturing Institute has launched the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.  This system of nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials validates both the “book smarts” and the “street smarts” needed to be productive and successful on the job.  For more information, see the following sections:

Manufacturers can no longer afford to wait.  Each manufacturer must take action NOW to help grow the next generation of manufacturing talent.  Learn more about the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System and how it can make a difference in your workplace! http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Skills-Certification/Skills-Certification.aspx

The Adult College Completion Network describes the program in Manufacturing Skills Certification System

This effort allows 12 states to align their educational and career pathways with a nationally-recognized skills certification system.

Description: 

The project is supporting 12 states to join five current states (North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Washington, Indiana) that are leading efforts to align their educational and career pathways with the National Association of Manufacturers-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. The states in the project were scheduled to begin implementation over a four-year period; however, during year one there was such demand from manufacturers for action that the Institute initiated efforts in all the states. The states are: Florida, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Iowa, New York, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Nevada, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kansas. The project is scaling up the model to align stackable industry-recognized skills certifications in advanced manufacturing with educational degree pathways that span from high school to community colleges to four-year institution programs of study.

Expected Outcomes: 

  • Increase in the number of students who earn a postsecondary credential with value in the workplace.

  • Creation/validation industry-aligned postsecondary pathways with advanced manufacturing career pathways, using real-time data on each state’s economy map.

  • Mapping the Advanced Manufacturing educational pathways in the states.

  • Integration of industry credentials into early adopter postsecondary institutions’ programs of study.

  • Modularization of the college curriculum to shorten time to credentials and provide more on/off-ramps in postsecondary education.

  • Strengthening of employer engagement with education.

  • Creation of a community of learners among states to share best-in-class tools to facilitate implementation.

Contact

Brent Weil

Senior Vice President

202-637-3134

Location

1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600

Washington, DC 20004

United States

http://adultcollegecompletion.org/content/manufacturing-skills-certification-system

There shouldn’t be a one size fits all in education and parents should be honest about what education options will work for a particular child. Even children from the same family may find that different education options will work for each child.

Resources:

Vocational Education Myths and Realities

http://www.fape.org/idea/How_it_works/voced_myths_8.html

Vocational Education in the United States, The Early 1990s

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/web/95024-2.asp

Related:

The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC)                                       https://drwilda.com/2012/06/28/the-ib-career-related-certificate-ibcc/

Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping                 https://drwilda.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                               Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                https://drwilda.com/

Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping

24 Mar

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. Caralee J. Adams has written the informative Education Week article, Career Mapping Eyed to Prepare Students for College.

Secondary schools are becoming more intentional about helping students discover their career interests and map out a plan to achieve them.

About half of all states mandate that schools help create individual or student learning plans, and most others have optional programs. Enabling students to make their own plans puts them in the driver’s seat and encourages a long-term look at their course selection so their choices match their career goals, experts say. Often, districts give students online accounts with passwords to track classes; create an electronic portfolio of grades, test scores, and work; research careers; and organize their college search.

The practice is picking up momentum with the increased emphasis on college completion, which research shows is more likely when students take rigorous courses and have a career goal.

But these career maps take an investment in technology and training. Finding time during the school day can be a challenge, and the job of overseeing the process often falls on already stretched counselors, according to researchers and program administrators. In some states, the plans have helped students understand the relevance of what they are learning, prompting higher enrollment in Advanced Placement courses and increased high school graduation rates. Others, meanwhile, have not yet experienced the same payback on their investment. As with many education programs, the rollout is left up to districts, creating a patchwork of approaches throughout the country.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/03/23/26career.h31.html?tkn=QMVF6DJ6PI1ypU%2BQAeBMIEDQiw8t7GPZUByG&intc=es

“Career Mapping” has been a concept in human resources for awhile.

The American Advertising Federation Mosaic Center has some great information about “Career Mapping.”

Definitions:

We begin with definitions, as well as the caveat that many employees, managers and authors use these terms in different ways.

Career: The series of occupational activities throughout a person’s working life. The jobs that one holds over a lifetime comprise a career.

Career Track/Path: A metaphor to describe the lines of job progression that an employee can follow. This often assumes (especially the term Career Track) that the progression will be made, either vertically or laterally, within the same firm. However, employees use these terms to refer to a trajectory of job positions, whether with one firm or multiple employers, to achieve their career goals.

Career Mapping: For this section, we will use the term Career Mapping to mean the deliberate goal-setting and strategic planning on the part of the employee, with guidance and assistance from the employer and others such as mentors, to meet both work and “life” goals. Sometimes the term Career Management is used for this process of assessing aspirations and abilities. Managing or mapping one’s career could include such activities as training, appraisal and interacting with a mentor.

Career Development: Activities either provided or initiated by the organization or the individual to achieve the desired career path. Career development can have a work emphasis, such as job training, or it can have a personal emphasis, such as education or out-of-work activities.

Scope:

For employees, career mapping and career development can be on-going, dynamic processes that involves many psychological and social factors. Ideally, in conjunction with employers, employees formulate a concept of “where their career is going” or “where they are and where they want to be,” and determine what is required to achieve a desired career path, next step, or eventual outcome.

Career Mapping is seen differently by various members of an organization. Personnel in each of these areas have their own perspective and desired outcomes:

  • From the point of view of the employee, career mapping is the blueprint or map to achieve the upward progression toward ultimate career and life goals. The typical assumption is that their development will involve moving from entry-level employment to increasingly higher positions that offer more fulfillment, responsibility and reward.
  • Middle managers are more likely to view career development from a systems view (“all about the work”), which emphasizes the optimum training, capability and productivity of the employees in their current positions.
  • HR staff are concerned with maintaining qualified employees so that the organization can achieve its goals. A big part of this effort involves career advancement of “onboard” employees while balancing talent needs of the organization going forward. HR managers should have the tools and processes for career evaluation and management.
  • C-suite executives often view career management or mapping as a way of achieving “succession planning,” or the preparation of employees to fill vacancies in key positions. As leaders, they set the tone for the corporate culture and work environment, as well as the organizational goals.

Career mapping may also be referred to as career planning, career advancement, career journey and career goal-setting. Asked about their career plans, both junior employees and executives tend to use words that symbolize a journey, and the value of a map, guide, track or plan.

http://www.aaf.org/default.asp?id=979

If “Career Mapping” can help point more students toward an appropriate vocation, it is a useful concept.

Dennis Smith has a good brief article at College Recruiter. Com, Choosing A Vocation: Finding Your Calling

 “What do you want to do with your life?”

I’ve heard everything from,

“I want to be the VP of Engineering!”, to “I don’t really know what I want to do….I only know what I don’t want to do.”

In my opinion, both answers are good. I’ve known engineers that knew they were going to be engineers from their mother’s womb. I’ve known others who, like myself, enjoy doing so many different things that they graduate from college not having made specific plans for the day after graduation.

In making this decision, the mistake made by many of us is that we too often listen to the multitude of voices that are willing to offer up advice about what “we” should be doing with our lives. As my grandfather used to say, “That advice and a nickel will get you a cup of coffee.

What is it that matters most? What is it that you want to do more than anything? What makes you truly happy? What is it that makes you “alive?

Curt Rosengren says,

“If there’s one thing I’ve discovered over the years, it’s that just about anything we set our minds to is possible. Moreover, one of the biggest – if not the biggest – obstacle we face lies smack dab between our ears. We’re so often overcome with fear of what might go wrong that we don’t dare to even take a step.” “But….what would you do if you were brave?”

Students should be thinking about what is the appropriate life balance for them.

Another important part of career or vocational selection is life balance.

WebMD and the Mayo Clinic have some good suggestions about life balance.

WebMD Choosing A Vocation: Finding Your Calling

 1. Figure Out What Really Matters to You in Life

2. Drop Unnecessary Activities

3. Protect Your Private Time

4. Accept Help to Balance Your Life

 5. Plan Fun and Relaxation        

The Mayo Clinic has tips for striking the proper work-life balance

A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.

Albert Camus

After two weeks of working on a project, you know whether it will work or not.

Bill Budge

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©