I am going to preface this post with this – I did not understand everything Malcolm Gladwell said.

But the one thing that came to my mind is this: when it comes to choosing a career, I would argue that many of my generation were impoverished. You either were expected to go to university (college was for chumps) or you expected to work as a foreman for your dad once you finished high schools (if you were a boy, that is. Girls from immigrant homes were supposed to get married and have babies).

If you did humanities in university, as I did, there really was no direction as to what you were going to do next. Teaching or academics were the common path, followed by writing. But I finished university during the Harris era were options were few. You took a job and that was it. And there was no guidance as to job options, hence the preponderance of “artsies” taking office jobs.

I waited until I was 51 to take a different path. I do understand one thing Malcolm was saying: I’m going to have to put in many hours of study if I came going to succeed.

Outliers: Why Some People Succeed and Some Don’t

College Orientation

On Tuesday I attended the George Brown College Orientation. It was online and there were over 300 students in the Blackboard chat all trying to meet their classmates – admittedly, it was a bit of a whirlwind.

I have to remind myself that it is Covid in 2021 and not 1989 ( when I a 1st year at the University of Toronto). And I recognize the need to build one’s network. Still I relieved when I was able to figure out how to turn off the the chat PING and focus on the presentations to be had.

I am determined not to make the mistake I made in my university days: ignoring the resources that my ancillary fees were paying for, especially dental! Beyond that is the reminder that the faculty and the staff are there to help me get through the program in the first place!

That being said I know that I will make mistakes whilst in the midst of my studies. Still I look forward to the journey.

Make Mistakes – Abandon your ‘Perfect Life’

Squiggly careers

While my course at George Brown College does not start until September, I am taking charge of my learning now.

Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper are career development consultants who founded Amazing If. Their take is that careers should not go up a ladder – that is too limiting. Instead they opt for what they call a “squiggly” approach.

TEDx Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis

I would argue that my career so far has been neither up a ladder or “squiggly”. Instead it has been flatlined – my day jobs have long been administrative and safe, working for libraries, government and schools. They never reflected my real life, be they consulting, public speaking, media presenting, and facilitating workshops – all opportunities to teach and reach people.

Who knows? Eventually Tupper and Ellis may have a place for me. Or better yet, I will create a place for myself.