Sunday, August 10, 2014

The False Hope Of Career Planning

As the sun begins to set on my 8 year career as an educator in higher learning at San Francisco State University, it's inevitable that I reflect on what my experiences have taught me.
Since I created and designed my own Career Planning class, I took a keen and often personal interest in my students' talents, skills and career interests. In many ways, their success was my success.

But what metric could I (realistically) use to evaluate the validity of the philosophies, and the effectiveness of strategies dispensed in my class? The answer was nearly a decades' worth of student feedback and closely analyzed empirical observations.
What did they reveal?
First and foremost, despite the title of my class, very few students (4 to be exact) actually have the careers they planned. Coincidentally, they are all students who did not have a plan b.
This proves what I researched about miswanting.

Miswanting is the reason why I designed my curriculum to focus more on preparing students to succeed in any professional endeavor as opposed to merely planning for one. My observations of hundreds of students confirms that for the majority, the road to career success is more of an adventure, than a plan.
This recalls the words that Alan Watts spoke when he said, "There is no use planning for a future - which when you get to it, and it becomes the present, you won't be there."

And with this, I reveal the most significant metric; the one that true educators use in evaluating their own success, which is how much of a difference they've made in preparing students to reach higher, contribute greatly, do better, go farther, shine brighter, achieve more, succeed sooner, and experience fulfilling lives in spite of their career plans, not because of them.

I believe I did that.

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