Archive for 'career goals'

5 Questions to Start Living Your Values Today

A business man on holiday in Africa watched a little fishing boat dock at the quayside of a tiny fishing village. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch them. ”Not very long,” answered the fisherman. “Then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the consultant. The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family. The consultant asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and have an afternoon’s rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go see my friends, have a few drinks, play the drums, and sing a few songs… I have a full and happy life,” replied the fisherman.

The business man scratches his head, trying to understand why the fisherman is not motivated to achieve greater business success. Having learned much about business at Harvard, he turns to the fisherman and shares an elaborate 20-year plan that would expand the fisherman’s fleet and eventually grant him the opportunity to move to a city where he could direct a huge enterprise. Even better still, he would be able to sell shares in his company and make millions!

“Millions? Really? And after that?” pressed the fisherman. The business man replied, Read the rest of this entry

Exploring Self Through Early Career Dreams

In just a few days, excited little cowboys, princesses, and rock stars will be knocking on our doors begging for treats. What a fun time of the year this is! Growing up in South Africa we didn’t really celebrate Halloween, so imagine my excitement each year as I get to make up for lost time. Even without eating buckets-full of candy and suffering the subsequent belly-aches, it is quite the treat for me to be among kids of all ages visibly transformed by imagination and child-like delight.

Although I appreciate the pizza-slice costumes and home-made Sponge Bob outfits, I most enjoy it when parents take this opportunity to encouarage their children to play out early career fantasies. From little doctors-in-training to astronauts, veterinarians, or future presidents of the United States,  there’s something precious about watching a little kid pretending to be “all grown up.”

The next time you ask a child what he/she wants to be when they grow up, take a moment to study their face as they answer. Most often, there’ll be an unmistakable twinkle in their eye and a giddy excitement as they imagine the future grown-up version of themselves. You’ll see the sparkle I’m talking about in these adorable little faces too: Read the rest of this entry

This week in reality TV land, millions of viewers watched as a relentlessly ambitious and seemingly heartless twenty-something from Texas became X-Factors’ newest villain. It was painful to see other contestants falling prey to Kaci Newton and her sister Kaylee’s shameless gossiping and mean-girling. Eager to pursue her passion for music on a national platform, Kaci pushed others aside and belittled them in an effort to assert her own worth.

This video gives you a sneak peak into some of the events that transpired, though it doesn’t capture the drama in full. Seemingly sweet in front of the judges, Kaci spat out venom behind the scenes and failed to win favor with the judges or America. Kaci’s actions were so distasteful that even Simon Cowell – one of America’s most controversial talent judges – called her a “vile monster.” Now if you’ve ever watched Simon Cowell in his prime on shows like American Idol, you’ll know that comment says a lot coming from him.

Like Kaci, we can all get wrapped up in ourselves sometimes. Eager to chase our fires, we forget that we need people in our corner along the journey. No (wo)man is an island. Ambition and a desire to be successful can be wonderful things, but no-one likes someone who is self-absorbed, dismissive, or publicly critical of others. In Kaci’s case, America responded by booing, laughing at her expense, and eventually kicking her off the X-Factor ‘island’ that she so fiercely staked claim to.

Though most of us will likely never face the public ridicule that has ensued for Kaci, stepping on people to get to the top still has major consequences. Not only can it severely damage our social standing, reputation, and careers, but it can also lead to lasting pain for others.

Read the rest of this entry

The number of American students participating in study abroad programs has more than tripled over the past two decades. In the 2009-2010 academic year alone, approximately 270,600 students immersed themselves in foreign culture while studying at host institutions outside of the United States (Institute of International Education, 2011). This noteworthy increase in study abroad participation might in part be due to institutions like Goucher College and Arcadia University, who have pioneered programs requiring students to obtain some academic credit abroad in order to be eligible for graduation (Fischer, 2008, June 20). Statistics related to study abroad participation will continue to increase, especially in light of the Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program’s goal of sending one million American students to study abroad annually by the 2016-2017 academic year (BaileyShea, 2009).

Why such a big push for study abroad, you might ask? Well, quite frankly, because it can often end up changing just about everything for those who participate (Chapman, 2011). First, study abroad participation often leads to interest in new vocational options as well as the unanticipated desire to pursue graduate study or careers abroad. However, as only a few participants typically study abroad with career goals in mind, students often find themselves unprepared for the many career development opportunities available to them abroad and often only recognize missed opportunities retrospectively. Second, study abroad participation often supports significant multidimensional growth, including (among other outcomes): Read the rest of this entry