Thinking on the move

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It has been ages since I’ve blogged but that doesn’t mean I have given up thinking. I’ve just had a prolonged period without access to a desktop or freedom from ever pressing deadlines. So I’ve got a few minutes to spare while I sit in the London Road sunshine, so I thought I’d experiment with posting from the blackberry. If I can do it I never need go silent again. ( I can hear those groans off to stage left)

One of the most interesting things about my job is the fact that I get to talk about career with all sorts of people. Perhaps most interestingly I get to talk to people who have no interest in talking about there career. This is often because they think that they don’t have (or sometimes want) a career. I try to explain that for me career is an expansive concept that encompasses life, learning and work, but on the whole this isn’t how they see this concept.

What I’m struck by is how often people percieve career as an oppressive idea. It is the thing their mother nags them about, or the thing they could have had if they worked harder, or even the thing that was stolen from them by an unfair world.

This is problematic as it means that we are often talking different languages. My attempt to see career in non-judgemental ways is transmuted in their minds into a commentary on all of their mistakes and wasted potentials. Sometimes their idea of career is even stricter and related to some deeply held belief such as career=money or verticle progression or going to university. The concepts masked by career are vast and it seems in many cases dark.

I wonder about a vox pop project that attempted to draw together 1000s of individuals definitions of career. What would the collective definition look like?

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