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Career choices in the frame

I am still churning over in my mind who I want to look like. Prominent career theorist Mark Savickas reckons we identify with our heroes because they solve the problems we cannot solve. He suggests that knowing who we admire gives us insight into the problems we want to solve in our work. As he puts it, identify the preoccupation and turn it into occupation.

I realised that who I wanted to resemble probably changes over time, and by that I mean over the space of a day. Perhaps this is why I have elected to pursue and have been lucky enough to enjoy a portfolio career. I have opportunities to change who I want to be across the week, and sometimes on the same day.

Glasses can offer a whole new dimension.

Glasses can offer a whole new dimension.Credit:Kerrie Leishman

Was I protesting too much in rejecting Dad’s Army, Ronnie Barker and Paul McDermott? I can readily see a theme of comedians in those rejections, and a bias towards the late 1970s. Indeed I found myself transforming the modern term for lenses that darken in the sunlight from “Transition” lenses to a “proper” 1970s term – “Reactolite Rapide”.

Thinking about whom we admire, and why we admire them can be useful for framing our thinking about career decisions. For me it was a case of frames plural. I ended up replacing the damaged lenses in my existing frames, and purchasing a second totally different style of frame, a testimony to the skills of Lynelle! I have a portfolio of glasses for a portfolio career.

Now I have clear vision, but I still need to work out who I am trying to look like.

Jim Bright, FAPS is Professor of Career Education and Development at ACU and owns Bright and Associates, a career management consultancy. Email to opinion@jimbright.com. Follow him on Twitter @DrJimBright

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