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Career and Chaos

Intro to Chaos Theory as it applies to Career
by

Jon Rosenfield

on 19 January 2016

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Transcript of Career and Chaos

Attractors
– The process by which a system self-organizes into coherence and adapts to maintain or recreate order when impacted by internal or external influences.

Characteristic Trajectories
– typical patterns of human behavior…skills, interests, aptitudes, etc.
Key CTC Concepts: Attractors
The Chaos Theory of Careers:
nearly all career development challenges can be understood in terms of individuals trying to impose closed systems thinking on an open systems reality.
From narrowing down to being focused on openness
From control to controlled flexibility
From risk as failure to risk as endeavor
From goals, roles and routines to meaning and mattering
From knowing in advance to living with emergence
From trust as control to trust as faith
Some CTC Paradigm Shifts
The meaning of Work
and the meaning of Chaos
What does work mean to you?
We often think of work as something we do... what are some of the things that work does to us?
Organizes our life/time
Suggests movement or Achievement
(As it relate to
careers
)

Can work roles change over time?
Work and career are an interactive process:

The way that we think about this relationship impacts how careers develop over time.
Major =/= Career
Major/Industry =/= Income
Problematics of Linear Thinking:
Focus on a single trait
A limited perception or point of data projected across an entire field
Torus:
A closed system
That keeps repeating itself.
Strange:
Influences seem disparate, results can seem chaotic.
Pendulum:
Multiple themes that may conflict
and cause confusion.
I should go to Grad/Law School

Career Tests/Counselors
can tell me what to do

I should wait to start a
job search/think about career goals
(re)Defines sense(s) of Identity
Provides Purpose
The question
as asked by students:
Consider Brooks' discussion of "The Question".
Why is "The Question"
problematic?
(Open Systems)
"Reality"
[AKA "WISE WANDERINGS"]
Abductive Reasoning:
observe patterns
consider multiple perspectives
Don't assume linearity
The constant of
unpredictability:
Planning will never be absolute
be ready for and take advantage of unplanned experiences
Unfocus your eyes:
Step back to appreciate patterns
Be mindful of attractors
(motivations):
Point
Pendulum
Strange
Torus
"This was a practical joke
from The Great
Attractor
"
Know the
Situation:
What is known?
What is unknowable?
What can we learn?
"I don't want to sit at a desk"
"people say Sociology is not a worthwhile major... I don't want to have anything to do with Sociology"
Structured Self-Assessment
Explore new interests through:
volunteer, internships, and work experiences…
Joining groups
talking to people (informational interviewing)
Be mindful in creating opportunities:
Networking | Informational interviews
Continue to process and self-reflect

Concrete actions
to help connect the dots and move forward
http://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/stem/stem-html/
Do you believe we can exert influence over work?
How?
When?
Our minds respond to:
Concrete, linear information
Edcucating ourselves into a job
Step-wise educational systems
Seeking The Correct Answer
[AKA - Deductive Reasoning]
What can I do with this degree?
Industry =/= Work Role
Alternate Strategies
Conclusions that studens often reach:
Full transcript