I was browsing through my Facebook Newsfeed the other day and this image, “Be who you needed when you were younger“, stirred my heart in a profound way. This is exactly why I began my Career Coaching & Education journey back in 2013. (My Story)
I was at a crossroad in my career development at 27. I’ve given up my well-paying and good prospect role in a rapidly growing company, and yet, I have no idea what to do next. To be exact, I knew what I DON’T want, and I’m not sure what exactly do I want and whether I had what it takes to go for it. I wish I had met a “wizard” to ask me some questions to help me clarify my thought when I was 20 years old.
We are not short of the so-called “career advice” though; in fact, there is too much career advice from a conforming, fear-based angle – that greed is normal for businesses for survival, that employees need play by the rules for job security, that you need to do XYZ in order to please your Boss etc.
I would not deny the practical aspect in these pieces of advice, but they also feel demeaning to us as human beings.
Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba, said in his latest speech, “In the past 20 years, we are making people work like machines; in the next 20 years, we are going make machines to act like human.”. Robots are always efficient, logical, will not get bored with repetition, and will not get tired or demotivated. And yet when AI is getting smarter and smarter ( See AlphaGo won again), why are we human still try to compete with robots in areas that THEY do best?
We human have unreplaceable capabilities to create beautiful arts, to connect the dots in seemingly unrelated issues, to plan and create visions of our future, to express and communicate our heart ‘s desire in unique ways. Why not just delegate the repetitive, dangerous and complicated calculations to robots, so we can free ourselves up to bring out our best talents?
Our Education System, and How We Measure “Success”
The same applies when we are in wrong jobs. Work is supposed to be purpose-driven, and one that you can use your strengths to leverage the resources for best results.
Looking back, what we need most in our 20s are NOT “advices” on WHAT to do with our careers. We need to first figure out our WHY – our core values, and what we believe in. After knowing our why, we need the HOW to inspire and guide us in our experiments. After all, being young is a strength that provides us with the courage to disregard the paths others have set for us and compels us to live the life we want to live.