Hello and Welcome
We find ourselves living and working in a world which is constantly changing. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming but I think that the way to respond positively to changes in our lives is through developing our ability to learn in ways that combine the personal with the professional. If I change; everything changes! Identifying and making use of all the resources that are available to us and recognising our learning in different contexts can build the skills, qualities, experience and qualifications required to transform both our personal and professional lives..
Saturday, 18 February 2012
Currently, the educational system is one built around the needs of what was the Industrial Revolution. Is it possible for this same model to remain in place for a future which we can only guess at?
Is there going to be a return to the economic prospect of a job for everyone? Jobs which match individuals' education, skills and abilities? Are there going to be wages that permit people to live comfortably above the poverty line? Is the default position for earning a living going to remain the selling of one's labour to a company or organisation?
Or, is there going to be a shortage of these types of jobs? Might the technological revolution that is replacing people not provide enough new work? Are jobs going to be so scarce that unethical management practices start to be used more universally to abuse the work force? And amongst this depressing backdrop is there to be a return to Victorian values where poverty is seen as a result of lack of individual responsibility, laziness, fecklessness and overall lifestyle choices?
Metaphorically speaking, we seem to have an educational system which seeks to transform people into a master key that will comfortably turn in a number of ready made locks. What if these locks change beyond recognition or disappear completely? How is education to serve the best interests of all society?
I would suggest that we need to be thinking about creative career management. This would require a shift from thinking about getting a job to thinking about ways in which to earn a living. It would need to start with the gifts that the individual possesses; what they are naturally good at. These may need to be discovered and nurtured but infants' school might be a good place to start. I speak to many adults who are unable to articulate what gifts or qualities that they possess. I fear that many may have been told that they didn't have any! A creative career would also need to consider the individual's passion; what things consume their interests and activities. These are often linked to their gifts and a tell tale sign is often detected in the hobbies that people have. Finally these two things; gifts and passions would need to be aligned to a purpose - an identified need in the world. Otherwise there will not be an income stream.
So, by comparison to educating people to meet what employers say they want, as if they are a monolithic block of demands, educating for a creative career is much more difficult and demanding. Equally, what people really want, when they have the freedom to really choose may not meet the expectations of the status quo. "Systemic change cannot occur without a shift in the ruling paradigm of the day, no matter how well it is defended by the stalwarts whose lives - and above all livelihoods - are so often protected by it" (Nick Jankel 2012 http://bit.ly/xQqz7f ) Maybe a person centred education which focused on what individuals required to lead a life worth living might encourage people to become more interested in politics because the personal, as I discovered many moons ago, is political.
A creative career supports entrepreneurialism which as discussed by Tim Faley in the FT last week http://on.ft.com/wingf0 requires more than what is currently being taught in HE institutions. As it stands entrepreneurial education is incomplete. A business should not start with the business but with the individual and his or her capabilities. Using the metaphor of the Titanic he suggests that what is important in innovation lies below the water line. In my experience peoples' gifts and passions often remain well below the water line.
Perhaps a good start to creative career management would be to support and guide individuals in developing their own personal brand rather than building a standard resume that aligns to employer demands?