Coming of Age Challenge #9: Careers
The research says that today's student will have at least 7 different careers in their lives. Half those careers probably haven't even been invented yet (think social media, web marketing that didn't exist 5 years ago).
Determining what is "Out" as well as "IN" is just as important. This summer Zoe volunteered as a Youth Naturalist at Audubon and even though she loves Audubon she realized that running after 5 and 6 year olds was not something she aspired to -- cross of elementary school teacher from the list.
Her ninth challenge focused on stretching herself to learn about other careers. Her initial impression of hospital work when she went to visit a hospital with her dad, was that it left her with the feeling that being a doctor, nurse, or hospital worker, was "too depressing."
Then she hung out with me at work for a day and came away with the conclusion that people who work in my office talk a lot to each other. Not exactly a true representation of what they do, but an interesting observation.
This week, Zoe took on the challenge to join teens at the World Affairs Council International Career Week to listen to professionals who are engaged in International Careers. Approximately 60 plus teens from the bay area came together to talk to panelists such as an International Journalist, two professionals focusing on Sustainable Development, a doctor involved in infectious diseases around the world, economists, educators, CiA, retired Ambassadors and the Foregin service and more.
Her favorite was the retired Ambassador who spoke of the Foreign Service and talked about watching the Berlin wall come down and the Egyptian protests. He spoke 7 plus languages and spoke of the joys and tribulations. Then there was the woman was was a CIA agent for 15 years and explained the job both analyzing data and recruiting assets. Her present career was working in Silicon Valley in security. Zoe thinks she was doing corporate espionage... who knows for sure.
This career challenge was just as much about having the confidence to talk to people about their careers as expanding her awareness of the choices in front of her.