I really enjoyed our recent VCE Information evening, and appreciated that the school took an opportunity to bring in Careers Coach Tyson Day to talk about how work has changed in these modern times.
Tyson talked a lot to us about what is important to young people on embarking on a lifetime of work (in fact he mentioned that we spend roughly 90, 000 hours of our lives working) – and that there is a real shift to finding work that is meaningful and that you are passionate about.
When you look again at that number – 90.000 hours – you can certainly understand why it is important to think closely about the field that you enter.
I’m not sure anyone had conversations like this with me when I was looking at my future all those years ago in the Careers Centre of my high school… but I was lucky in that I found great passion in the work that I ended up doing, and that I have worked in places that supported me to continue my own learning journey and find passions within that area. This Wellbeing Hive being one of them.
Passion and meaning are crucial to living happy healthy lives. And while the world of work is important to this, it is not the only place that we may find it. Some of us don’t get as lucky to find deep satisfaction from what we do for work – but we appreciate that it puts the metaphorical bread on the time while we allow ourselves time for our other passions.
For some of you it may be in supporting a cause, which is worthy and important. Being committed to something greater than yourself brings tremendous meaning, and having time to devote to this may be your true priority.
For some, expressing themselves may be their true passion, whereas a job may be a simple means to afford to continue painting, designing, photographing, undertaking a sport at a high level and so on. The meaning may be in continually challenging ourselves to break boundaries and do better – whether physically or in the ways in which we express what matters to us.
Finding a passion should perhaps be something we discuss more concretely with young people – whether that be work they are passionate about, or something outside of that. If exploring our passions is crucial to happiness, then we need to point out its importance that much sooner. But one of the challenges of being young is that you are not yet sure what you are passionate about, and this contributes to why some young people feel a bit directionless at school. They are not sure where it is leading them or what connects with them.
One of the goals of any school should be to provide avenues for young people to find themselves.
Encouraging students at St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar to find a spark in each of the 4As – academic, artistry, athleticism and adventure – is a part of our commitment to doing this, as are our character education and service programs.
The picture below shows the model that Tyson recommended for finding a passion.
One of our school values in Curiosity and as educators and parents we must constantly reinforce the value of this personal quality. Curiosity is about wonder – wondering how things work, why things occur and how perhaps they could be improved. All innovation and creativity stems from Curiosity – and we should never stamp out the asking of questions and the desire to know more. This is why inquiry learning works so well in the Junior School and with our younger Senior Students.
Try New Things
Schools and parents should work together to allow young people opportunities to test out a variety of activities and avenues for expression. This is why our Pursuits program is so important – it provides a non-risk way to explore a new activity and meet new people and see if it is an interesting fit. Although face-to-face learning and really getting stuck into something in person is always more engaging, one of the few silver linings to COVID is that much is now available online these days, so if you want to try something, likely a first lesson is a quick google or YouTube video away. Hip Hop Dancing anyone?
Know It’s A Process
If you are anything like me, I always want everything to be perfect right now. But part of life is accepting the process – that sometimes the things you think you love or that will be a pathway ahead, may not actually be as expected. As older people, we need to help younger people manage the challenges and disappointments of this. Help them put things into perspective and remind them that life does not necessarily have to be on a timeline. Tyson’s presentation also mentioned that in the future, people will be likely to have around 7 key changes in the type of work that they do – showing that the ability to pivot, embrace the new and reinvent ourselves will be so important.
Challenges are easily seen as setbacks – but challenges can be great learning opportunities and provide us with much growth and perspective. Again, this is where we need to help and coach young people to manage their expectations and have a growth mindset to find new pathways ahead.
Ask for Help
Seeking help is often seen as vulnerability – but seeking help is smart! Seeking help shows an investment in getting better. In terms of developing a passion, seeking help might be:
As hard as being in lockdown is – it could be a time to talk to young people about what they are curious about, and get them to spend some time exploring it. You never know what they might learn about themselves!
If you want to read more from Tyson on this subject as well – why not check out the article below: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-choose-right-career-ask-questions-tyson-day/
Photo by Burst from Pexels