How the elections can spark career ideas

JP Michel

Derrick didn't feel like choosing his #major today.

What was on his mind instead? The results of the elections.

He told his career advisor, Amy, that a lot needed to change in American politics.

Amy probed: What needs to change specifically?

Derrick had done hours of research on this topic, and was animated as he talked. Eventually, he landed on his favorite topic: election campaign finance reform.

Through this discussion, Derrick identified an interesting challenge to solve.

Career conversations that start with challenges, not job titles, engage students' curiosity.

Next, Amy asked: What do you need to learn to be able to contribute to improving election campaign financing?

Derrick didn't know the answer. Yet.

Amy suggested that he research the organizations working on this issue. Government, private sector, non-profit, think tanks, etc.

Next, he could identify the roles they might hire for: Policy Analyst, Advocate, Community Organizer, Politician, Professor, Lawyer, Investment Advisor, Researcher.

This wasn't about picking one job title, for life. Instead, Derrick would learn about the interdisciplinary nature of the challenge to solve.

The goal? Broaden Derrick's horizons so he could discover new career possibilities.

To go deeper, Amy recommended researching the profiles of these professionals. Specifically, Derrick was to identify relevant experiences, knowledge, competencies and personal attributes.

In this process, Derrick and Amy 'flipped the model.' They started with challenges first, and worked backwards from there.
As a result, Derrick identified a new list of potential majors that could help him make a difference.

For most students, flipping the model, through a #challengemindset provides more options, excitement and relief.

Photo by Phil Scroggs on Unsplash

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