Well-meaning parents and teachers ask children the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question.  Depending on the age of the child, the answer is likely the ‘usual’ (doctor, nurse, farmer, singer, superhero, cowboy, lawyer, fireman, batman, or ‘whatever their mommy/daddy does’).  In my experience, few become what they say.  I have never heard a child say they want to be a forensic scientist, phlebotomist, actuary, prosthodontist, cartographer, solar photovoltaic installer, or industrial psychologist when they grow up.  Have you?

Though best-intentioned, rarely a young person answers anything other than what is in their immediate frame of reference!  Many are influenced by what they see and hear, and often by the financial situation into which they have been born.  For example, if their parents are professionals with a university education, they will likely pursue the same. If they reside in a home with a tradesperson (or other jobs), they may pursue something similar.  

Prepare Children for Complex and Changing World

How does an individual, even in high-school, know all the possible career options open to them?  The NOC code lists 30,000 occupations in Canada.  High School career fairs invariably offer different post-secondary schools and their various programs.  A math whiz is often encouraged to go into engineering but what other possibilities are they missing?  To be fair to each student, keeping a multitude of blue- and white-collar opportunities on the table are best.

And, who says that the career they select immediately outside of high-school/post-secondary is going to be a linear path?  An Australian report estimates that young people in school today will have 17 jobs across five careers in their lifetimes.  Let us assist young people to realize that their identity is not in their career, which was the focus for previous generations. They do not have to be anchored to a singular profession.  It’s a big world out there!

Reviewing Your Career Path

If you consider your own resume, based on the average, I assume that your career path has not been linear.  Your experiences have taught you a multitude of skills that can or may have already culminated in the perfect role!  I have a friend who started as an EMT, transitioned to be a general contractor, then went into the RCMP before now transitioning into forensics; thus he combined his earlier career with his new skills.  A great fit!

So, are you doing what you thought as a child?  For instance, did you select your career path or was it something you ‘fell into’ despite the earlier education in which you invested?  What is your next change? Is there something that combines all your experience into that ‘perfect’ role?

Each new and additional experience continuously provides a broader perspective.  Therefore, when you go to work happy and come home happy, you have it figured out.  If not, we’d love to chat about the type of Canadian agribusiness mid-to-senior level opportunities we represent. 

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