Recently I was looking for a book that might challenge me to think about how much more effective I could be as a career counsellor to high school students. This book was actually written for people in management positions but the principles laid out can be applied to the role in which I am in on a daily basis. There are four main characters in the book, Sniffy, Scurrie, Hem and Haw. How do we handle change or make decisions? As I reflected on these four characters I could see that students can fit characters like this as they make decisions about careers and life choices.
Sniffy and Scurrie knew what to do when there was change - they accepted it and knew that if they didn’t than they would lose out on the vast opportunities that were waiting for them.
Hem did not like change, was not prepared to explore the possibilities that were out there, spending to much time thinking and analyzing. Instead of looking forward, Hem was still basing decisions on past experiences and out-dated ideas, therefore making in harder for change to occur or even be current in ideas and thoughts.
And finally there is Haw the one who didn’t jump into change quickly but knew that in order to move forward change must take place. Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to step out and try new things, if that doesn’t work try something new and different, get out of your comfort zone. Laugh at your failures.
Not all students can be identified as any one of these four characters but I definitely have counselled Sniffies, Scurries, Hems and Haws. That is my job, to help students recognize that they need to change their thinking in how they approach their career decisions, to not rely on out-dated information from years gone by, but to do thorough research and to keep an open mind of the many many different careers there are today and to look to the future as to what the careers may look like down the road. Times are changing, the world of work is changing and I need to help students see that it is not as dismal as people make it out to be.
Change is inevitable, change is necessay, embrace changes no matter the unsurmountable unknowns, whether you have searched out every career and know exactly what you want to do, how long it will take to do and the end goal being happy in what you do. Remember life will throw curve balls and then some reevaluating may need to take place. Universities change their program requirements, career trends seem to be changing on a regular basis and the security of riding on the coat tails of family businesses or even following in your parents footsteps and doing exactly what they did and your grandparents did etc those careers may not even exist anymore. Then what do you do - embrace change.