Sunday, 17 October 2010

Attention Bias, Career Change and Getting Stuck

Take a look at this video.

Most people don't spot it, but even if you do it illustrates the limitations of our attention.  In short, we see what we expect to see.  For a career changer, this brings serious drawbacks.

For a start, we tend to believe the stories we build up about ourselves.  The mind is a consummate story teller, but it is not a faithful recounter of truth.  It's less Reuters than Tass.

So our attention bias tends to limit our own view of ourselves.  We become a 'type' of person with a certain degree of intelligence, a personality and a set of career matches....all staples, incidentally, of career coaches.

Yet these categories are just as likely to be limiting, inaccurate and even toxic as they are to be accurate, liberating and fulfilling.   Our categoiries should be held lightly.  Personality is a useful concept but should be no more than an input to a career decision.  Ultimately humans can't be boxed into types.  It has to be about conscious choice. 

Career matching tests, psychometric tests, coaching, all have the capacity to reinforce categories which hinder more than they help.  The reason we get stuck is not because we see the world as it is, but we see the world as we are.


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