This post was started in February 2014 after a work presentation ..
The old adage what do you want to be when you grow up is so outdated any truly reflective of the society we live in. In out parents (or grandparents) era you worked to get a job and for the most part you stayed at that job until,retirement. Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. And in some instances that still happens: cops, teachers, postal worker… But the reality is most if my generation is looking to be the next big thing in their respective industry. And with the globalization of the US, more schooling options, and increased access, you have the power to change your mind, develop new ideas and create your own careers. How does this philosophy get engrained in young adults?
This came to me at work today, because during our student/parent interviews one of the questions is what are your career goals. So many kids get caught on that, especially when followed by, or at some point in the interview when asked where do you see yourself in 5 years? The connection sometimes between what you “want to be” and how to get there is disconnected.
I listened to a presentation today by career services and walked away with several notes.
- One observation that they left with me with seemed to be less focus on career exploration, connections , and assistance to a system largely focused on job placement and connections through the university. It seemed that there were less and less activities about exploration and more on landing the job. However, one of the positives I thought was the idea of these “career clusters” so students begin to see job possibilities that are not “major specific.”
- What I’ve noticed in working with millennial students (some circles debate if I myself am a millennial) is this intense focus on their ideas and a disregard for things they have no interest in. I seriously had a student say they didn’t need reading /writing because they won’t do that in their career um! young squire?,., say that again? Or students who will only review a faculty members current research versus all the books they may have written. As if research doesn’t lead people to other ideas, interest in disciplines. What do you mean I must take an English course? I’m a history major .. The ability to sometimes seem the interlinking of things comes at what cost to young people? Our future leaders?