Career is about Clarity, Not Content.

We have a bewildering amount of content available at a tap of a smartphone screen. In my pro-bono coaching work with young professionals and start up founders, i often sense a loss of language about a direction for the future. The template from our parents’ generation of a few jobs across a lifetime is no longer valid, as every job is projectized and line item budgeted. This is contributing to a sense of frustration even among the Oxon educated as career services are staffed with Counsellers and not job creators.

The issue is too much information, where are professionals are looking at person specific tailored solutions looking at the short term and the long term. If Facebook can create custom interfaces for each user based on our likes and shares, then the need is for job creators themselves to go out to the job seeker to go and tell stories that connect rather than job posts on LinkedIn and job boards which need a peculiar cv to pass through the filters predetermined by algorithms.

The job market is increasingly skill based and academics with PhDs are disconnected with the right skills that are needed. They are amazing for courses that are focused on fundamentals, but most young graduates seek a ROI on the crazy amounts of tuition paid to the university. The key is in connecting the graduate to the job market through internships as soon as possible. For older professionals seeking a pivot, should seek reskilling as a long-term priority as skills are not built overnight. Doing a couple of MOOCs does not make you valuable but building a skill that is needed often at the interface of two or three sub-disciplines.

Careers anchored in solving meta problems such as Climate Change will have various jobs at different points of their lives. The lack of mentoring is leading many careers going astray as the old playbook is almost obsolete. The clarity if achieved early in the career leads to creating options, which leads to resilience.

Young professionals can author an essay well, but they lack knowledge in seeking the right job, the calling which is needed and not all knowledge is on the web. Seek wisdom stuck in the heads of battle-hardened investors and founders. Podcasts convey success stories not when they encountered a bankruptcy.

Reinvention should be a must thought skill in school or otherwise. Think of a Vir Sanghvi when thinking about career pivots. We need to understand the hidden transcript of jobs which is not taught at university.

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