Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Lewisham College and the importance of a vision


Was inspired this evening by Ruth Silver, a Fellow of the brilliant RSA. She reminded me of the importance of a vision and outlines hers for Lewisham College here.

Although this is something I've thought about for a long time I've never written it down or shared it with anyone.

What we want to do is to reinvent the career decision making process.

We don't want to improve it. We don't want people to take a bit less notice of other peoples' well-meaning opinions, or feel a bit less obliged to follow a traditional path, or even to take a bit more notice of themselves and the world around them.

We want people to think about their purpose in life objectively (scientifically) and then design its creation. In the process, we want to abolish the gradual narrowing of aspiration that is traditional career advice. We want to destroy the received wisdom that in order to make a career you must first spend your time 'learning your trade', 'paying your dues' or travelling in the reverse direction to the one that makes your eyes shine. And above all, we want to argue against the idea that this is somehow the 'real world'. We want to make that laughable, which it is.

And we want to make this service available to all, irrespective of circumstance.

If this sounds zealous I don't care.

Better career decisions can transform the world. I see no higher purpose or cause. By having people do what they do best, we can transform lives. And they in turn can transform lives. The number of people I know whose jobs deaden them or who contemplate change within deadening parameters is huge. It is this I want to change and this which is our vision.

Effective career decision making is about finding work that matches who you are to the life you want to lead. That’s not a luxury or touchy feely. It’s the clearest, coldest reality there is.

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