• Rebecca Laidlaw

What is a career and how do I get one?

There are a lot of theories that explore the meaning of career. The Oxford Dictionary explains a career as "an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress" sounds fancy right?! After studying career theory I find myself drawn a description from Donald Super (a career theorist) that career is defined by your entire lifetime. I don't believe that it is only the jobs that we have that matter or that careers are only for some people not everyone and here's why.

The concept of transferable skills. Transferable skills are skills that you have developed in one area that translates directly into another, for example, being a parent requires a massive amount of organization (you are responsible for keeping a small human alive and entertained) this skill in a working environment would mean that you see your workload differently. Ensuring tasks are done efficiently and effectively. You would also be able to deal with working under pressure and prioritizing. Another example, gaming for long periods of time can improve attention and concentration, especially on a screen. Give the same individual a role that requires a lot of screen time and they have already built up the muscle of focussing on a screen for a long time. The main point of these examples are making is that your personal life and the skills you are developing outside of the workplace matter. How you spend your spare time matters. Everything you do matters. You can use these skills in interviews (yes you can use personal experiences in interviews = myth busted) and these skills will by default, help you when you are faced with challenges in the workplace. In closing, you have a career purely by living and working. Career is not something that only the University graduates or business owners can have. Once we stop believing that (this big scary idea of) career is only for the elite we can start to focus on our career journeys and what matters to us. It's highly likely that you are already on a path, it's up to you what comes next and whatever it is parenthood, career change, or taking up a new hobby, know that it is the continuation of your career. If you want to find out how to get a career you already have one, go you!

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