What’s with the whole ‘having a career’ thing, anyway? No wonder so many teens end up disillusioned when something they’ve thought would be fun doesn’t pan out the way they thought it would. Not that it doesn’t make sense to have an area of specialisation, but surely not everyone’s built like that. Maybe a proportion of the population is naturally inclined towards… I don’t know, just existing. Isn’t that enough to ask of anyone, really?
Think about it. Career coaching for students is supposed to get teenagers on a path towards a life that will be fulfilling for them in the long term. If that’s the case, then why doesn’t it consider pathways such as studying northern European alchemy with a reindeer bone needle maker in Greenland? Why is that not a legitimate course of study and career-building?
The easy answer is because it is unlikely to lead directly to a job that pays financially. That’s something I would certainly not argue with. But then we need to look at the definition of the word ‘career’. Is it a way of making money? Because if so, we need to make that a primary part of the definition, so that teens can understand that it’s not ultimately about fulfilment.
When it comes to career consulting services, Melbourne has a lot going for it, including a level of open mindedness that might encourage the undertaking of reindeer bone magic apprenticeships. But at the end of that day, most parents wouldn’t consider that to be a career pathway, as such – especially if you follow it to its logical conclusion of living off foraged cloudberries in an Arctic cave.
What’s my point, exactly? I don’t know, really. I think it’s just that the standard career advice given to high schoolers should encompass the fact that they’re expected to make money in addition to being somewhat fulfilled, and that that’s what a career really is.