The dangers of falling into short-term thinking when choosing a career

iStock_000005168521XSmallAsked at an early age what they would like to do, most young children respond with jobs that are high profile in nature – firefighter, space pilot, jockey, football player, etc. A few might want to ‘copy’ what their parents are doing – stockbroker, lawyer, etc. – without really understanding what the job entails. In any case, most children don’t see the career options as ‘jobs’ but rather as fun things to do, and not much more (isn’t that a great way to look at it?!).

Later on however, as we finish our education, either at school, college, or university, our understanding grows of the needs to earn a living, and we tend to pick jobs based on a combination of certain criteria, principally relating to what we’re good at and what’s available.

Now 15 years into my career, and having been in a counseling role for others, and observed colleagues in their career development, it has become clear to me that careers are often very different later on to what we see as we start out on the career ladder, and that this is often overlooked by people starting their careers.

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Reflecting on the Noughties – a decade of “reckless consumption”?

In response to an article written by Nick Coleman in the current issue (Volume 3, Issue 1, Autumn 2009) of The Economist’s “Intelligent Life” magazine (which, by the way, I find to generally be a very good read).

iStock_000004652423XSmallThe article by Nick Coleman, titled ‘The i-Decade‘, talks about what styles and items have defined the past 10 years, with the end of the decade almost upon us.

Responses were collected from various people, and while diverse views were presented, ranging from electronics to fashion, from social media to cars, and handbags to cycling, a common theme mentioned by many commentators focused on an observation of an increase in consumption and consumerism. This was defined by one particular commentator as ‘reckless consumption‘.

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Predicting the future with Hollywood science fiction films

i30_010013It has long been known that certain science fiction authors have, through their research, knowledge of science, and creative imaginations, developed, or at least written about concepts which (while usually not laying out all the necessary theory to actually implement the concept) have subsequently been proven to be workable. A classic example (perhaps the most famous) is Arthur C. Clarke’s article on geostationary satellites, which appeared in Wireless World magazine in 1945, long before the existence of such satellites.

It recently occurred to me however that many recent developments in consumer electronics and networking, as well as other developments were previously contemplated in science fiction books, TV shows, or film, with the resulting objects becoming part of our daily lives. Others, which were previously seen as fun ideas, but not for serious consideration are now firmly in the laboratory, being prepared for future launch.

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An outsider’s perspective of ‘Social Games’ (eg. Zynga’s Mafia Wars, FarmVille, etc.)

Social Games are ‘computer games’ played on the internet, usually via a social networking site (eg, Facebook, mySpace, etc.), which involve interaction with chosen other people (usually nominated friends). In a sense they are a classic example of “Web 2.0”, being the development of the world-wide web to involve greater interaction between online participants.  They have piqued my interest, because a number of my friends are playing them on Facebook, and I really had no idea what they were about.

Companies like Zynga (the maker of some of the largest social games, and who I comment on further below) appear to be quietly growing into powerful market participants, despite mostly being hidden from the public eye (at least so far, most of the social games developers are venture capital funded).

Zynga has an excellent overview, presented by its founders and employees, in this YouTube video:

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