Saturday, May 14, 2011

Careers advice

Way back in the day, when I was a wee whippersnapper, knee high to a grasshopper, or as my sainted mother says "when I was a boy", I had a class in high school that was all about careers advice. All the usual stuff was covered - how to write a resume, why it was a good idea to turn up to an interview on time (or even 5 minutes early!) and all the standard job-market-preparation stuff. I don't remember much being said about putting some thought into which career might be appropriate. For all I know this was covered in great detail, but one look at my work history would indicate that I either missed that class, or more likely had completely tuned out and spent the hour carving Rollins Band lyrics into my folder. I was an angry young man for a couple of years there.

One thing I do actually remember was the teacher, whose name, if I recall correctly, was Mr. Virtue (is that even possible? How can that not be made up?). I remember that he had a penchant for creeping up on the Yr.12 kids smoking down near the bottom paddock in a bright red sweater vest that must have been visible from a low earth orbit. At any rate, Mr. Virtue told the class one day that in today's job market we, as the upcoming generation of employees, could not expect to land a job straight out of school and stay in essentially the same role for 40 years until we retired to a comfortable life on the pension. Rather, we should plan on having to retrain and change careers up to 3 times over the course of our working lives.

Once again, a quick glance over my work history might lead one to believe that this was one of the few gems of knowledge I actively took on board during my tenure (internment) at that particular school (penitentiary/rehabilitation centre). This is not to imply that I wasn't a good student. School work was one of the few areas I could retreat into, being neither particularly popular, athletic or funny, which was all that really mattered in that enlightened environment.

And yet here I am, rapidly approaching my 34th trip around the sun with nary a solid career path to either look back on with fondness, or look forward to with excitement. How is it that I have managed to effectively tread water for so long with out drowning? The mind boggles. It seems as though in my career choices I have channeled the mind of a 9 year old child in the candy aisle of a supermarket, clutching in a sweaty fist only enough money for a mars bar or a snickers, but not both.

So along these lines - very definitely so - I am applying for yet another degree. Clearly a Bachelors (admittedly only a BA, the ugly stepson of tertiary education) and a Masters of Science have helped me find financially and professionally rewarding work. Another Masters is exactly what I need. I guess (hope) that I may have learned something this time - I am applying for a degree with a vocational outlook. An MBA, so that I can become a captain of industry, wear pinstripe suits on a daily basis, and support myself and my family in the manner to which I have become accustomed (or at least aspire to).

Cue late night reading sessions about finance for managers, accounting practices and organisational behaviour. And the associated procrastination-driven blog posts.

1 comment:

dingobear said...

Tip from the dark side: he who's loudest, most obnoxious, and shovels it best, wins. But I guess that's just the economy these days ... and we all have to make a living somehow.

Where will you be going to get your degree? Good luck with the MBA!