If You Are Wedded to the Term “Career” – You Are Heading For a Car Wreck

September 4, 2023

by John O. Burdett

Redefining Career in a Changing World

Try as you might, the notion of a career is difficult to get away from. It’s embedded in our culture. Schools have career counsellors and specific career days. Business sectors have career fairs. Meanwhile, leaders are expected to embrace career expectations and career development as part of the performance management process.

Career is where it’s at! Or is it? Who, entering the workforce today, can afford to assume that a specific knowledge base and/or skill set will still be relevant even a decade from now? Who, regardless of age, can afford to set aside the emerging (and undeniable) need for agility, resilience and lifelong learning? Who, no matter what profession they are in, can deny that ongoing disruption, AI, ChatGPT, remote employment and the emerging generation of computing is both reinventing the workplace and making the term “career” dangerously misleading?

From ‘Career’ to ‘Caring’: Rethinking Our Path

There may still be value in the term “career” but only if we drop one letter – an “e.” We need to move beyond career and each of us must start to become a carer. To care enough to know that what got us here won’t get us to where we need to be. To care enough to know that beginnings start with endings. To care enough to challenge dysfunctional language. To care enough to model readiness. To care enough to encourage curiosity and breakthrough thinking. To care about inclusion. To care about equality of opportunity. To care about fairness. To care about the legacy we will leave. To care, in particular, about the footprint we leave on our planet.

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This article is an extract of content © Orxestra® Inc. The download is available from the TRANSEARCH International website.

John O. Burdett is founder of Orxestra® Inc. He has extensive international experience as a senior executive. As a consultant he has worked in more than 40 countries for organisations that are household names. John has worked on organisation culture for some of the world's largest organisations. His ongoing partnership with TRANSEARCH International means that his thought leading intellectual property, in any one year, supports talent management in many hundreds of organisations around the world. Get in touch with John O. Burdett »

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