Archive for August, 2010
These questions have arisen in my work with clients. Quite often they are the questions the client should have been asking themselves. Sometimes, finding the right question for a particular client will stop them in their tracks. You can see their perspective changing as they start to think in new ways about their situation.
Most of the questions relate to career decision making, but some of them are broader and could apply to many aspects of life.
Because Twitter has long-term memory problems, I thought it might be useful to keep a list of the questions here on the blog.
I was going to try to link these questions to career theory in some way but Bill Law has saved me the effort by using some of them in a new article on Career Learning Theory (PDF).
I will add to the list as I tweet new questions.
Some of these questions have been suggested by other people or have arisen from discussions with thought-provoking individuals. Where this is the case, I’ve tried to give due credit.
I’m happy to take suggestions for other questions here or via Twitter.
‘… One cannot build on weakness. To achieve results, one has to use all the available strengths… These strengths are the true opportunities’ (Drucker, 1967)
In preparing to facilitate a recent Guidance Forum on using a strengths-based approach in careers guidance, I revisited some of the positive psychology and strengths-based literature. Because of this, I have been reflecting further on how I can incorporate some of the ideas, theories and approaches into my careers work.
The positive psychology and strengths-based movement has been gaining momentum over recent years with a growing body of research demonstrating the benefits of positive emotion and focusing on our strengths for our life and our work. In emphasising strengths rather than weaknesses, positive psychology moves us away from the Negativity Bias whereby we find it easier to pay attention to what’s wrong or areas requiring development. The concept of strengths appeared in business literature with Peter Drucker (1967) and subsequently through the vision of Donald Clifton of The Gallup Organisation and the work of Martin Seligman in the field of positive psychology.
In the July/August edition of the Harvard Business Review, Monika Hamori writes about research she has been conducting on the career histories of 1,001 US and European chief executives. In the article she seeks to challenge what she claims are a number of fallacies propagated by career coaches:
- ‘Job-hoppers prosper’ — she claims that people whose careers were concentrated within a small number of organisations get to the top jobs more rapidly than those who hop between organisations frequently.
- ‘A move should be a move up’ — she claims that lateral moves are as valid and important as promotions in career success.
- ‘Big fish swim in big ponds’ — she reports that many successful people have moved between larger, well-known organisations and smaller, less-prominent ones.
- ‘Career and industry switchers are penalised’ — she indicates that a significant proportion of successful people have switched industries at some point.
I will avoid commenting on whether these are actually messages that career coaches promulgate (other than to mutter the phrase ‘straw man‘ under my breath). Instead, I will go with my original train of thought when I read the article, which was something like: ‘Is this a mixture of good news and bad news for the boundaryless career?’.