Times have changed
The idea of having one career for life and sticking to this has changed dramatically in the last 40 years or so. I have seen this in my parents’ generations and in the generations before them. My grand-dads and grand uncles stuck to one profession for life and then retired. With my parents my mum changed her career from an accountant to teacher. My dad shifted his direction of how he practiced law from being a criminal barrister to family solicitor.
Career change isn’t seen as an unusual concept anymore nor is seeking your true purpose. When the “Black Monday” crash happened in the 80s. A lot of people who had families to support needed to re-train and begin again.
The concept of having one job for life has been spun on its head. Especially as this continued to happen through to the 90s and now. Again, with another crash happening in 2000 onwards. Where more people were being made redundant or feel confused about their options because there are more options available.
Career transition is different compared to 50 years ago. Also, the type of work that people used to do is different a lot of manual jobs factories have seized due to the advancement in technology. Technology has allowed more people to work from home. Go freelance, start a small micro business or build a small start-up employing others.
Career theorists that help explain why a lack of career clarity could happen
If we apply a principal of change to a career theorists like Super and Adams, Hayes and Hopson life was different and expectations from society where different for those born in before the 1920’s to those born in the 1940’s to now
Super says we go through 5 stages in our life that is directly linked to our career. It is between stage 3 -4 we are beginning to seek more clarity and meaning in our lives.
Stage 3 is known as the Establishment phase when we are aged between 25-44. We may have entered different roles but are trying to understand what suits us. You may feel like you want more, like a promotion, starting a business or having more flexibility especially if you are working mum. Hence wanting to the establish yourself career wise here. You could be confused because life is throwing you a few curve balls and although you want a steadier career perhaps the one you currently have isn’t suiting your individual needs and values.
This is also were Adams Hayes and Hopson can be related to this. They express that direct life events impact on our career and this can be linked to a lack career clarity. Which can be caused by overwhelm and confusion with your working life. This is a six-state transition process. If you have recently been made redundant you may may start to experience self-doubt which is stage 3 of this process. Wondering what I will do now etc. Or become anxious or depressed if you are worrying about the future longevity of your career.
These theories show you some of the reasons why a lack of career clarity can be directly linked to life events. It’s not something we can necessarily control which is ok and it’s about understanding this and thinking how we can move forward.
We all need to have a purpose and why.
It’s important to have a purpose and a why because without one how can we go to work and do something we truly love. Therefore, career clarity is important because it’s pointless going for a goal or achievement if it’s not actually what you want.
For example, if you know going for a promotion isn’t want you want because you don’t enjoy your field of work anymore why are you doing it?
It’s important to understand your key values, your beliefs and the purpose you want to embody in your work. The hardest part here can be about feeling like you are being unrealistic or silly if you want to do something.
I am not saying you need to go for a lifelong dream of being singer or actor if you can’t do either lol. Be realistic of course. However, don’t limit what you can do.
For example, if you are a mum reading this and your dream is to set up a clothes boutique business and you have a creative flair for designing and making clothes. Perhaps you ended up doing this when you had a child because you wanted to create something bespoke for them. Then realised others noticed your designs and someone said you could turn this in to a business etc. However you thought being a business owner isn’t something that could be viable and thus went back to a full-time job. In fact your currently job as a medical secretary is stressful and not making you happy, What steps can you make to start taking small actions to create what you actually want? Especially if you feel money is something that is holding you back?
If you are completely unclear about what you want. This may because there are some negative forces in your life which are preventing you from seeing things clearly. Or you may feel it’s too late for you get clear because of your age, gender, etc.
It’s never too late remember your why is unique to you. Your why is an important part of understanding career clarity because without it you can’t move forward. It may take some time to formulate it.
This could also be because you feel overwhelmed in your life in general and feel change is something you can’t face or are just not sure where to start.
I will be talking much more about this in my online career clarity workshop. If you know you need some help understanding career clarity more and getting clear on what you want. Why not sign up to the workshop here. I will be talking about your why, causes of career clarity and giving you practical solutions to help you figure out what you want more of in your career.
To sign up to the workshop and gain more insights and takeaways please go here http://www.thecareerhappinessmentor.com/online-workshops