Capitalizing on Career Chaos: Bringing Creativity and by Helen Harkness

By Helen Harkness

Offers instruments and methods to develop into genuine, trail-blazing pioneers who will thrive during this age of unparalleled uncertainty.

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Perfectionism and procrastination Another negative coping behavior is the trap of perfectionism, which generates procrastination. Trapped by rigid standards and expectations, focusing on past fail- Searching for the Authentic Self ures, people give little or no credit to their successes. They find anything short of perfect to be unacceptable. Self-Concealment Self-concealment seems to be regarded as the most natural state for grown men, and concealment is more natural than candor in our society, according to Sidney Jourard (1971) in The Transparent Self.

This lets us experience ourselves as alive—ultimately connected and related to all—cousins to everything in a living, continuously regenerated universe. This is a different way of relating to our world, and it overcomes the profound separation and division of everything into parts that has marked our past. These shifts in perception may seem so subtle as to be of no consequence. 9 C A P I TA L I Z I N G O N C A R E E R C H A O S 10 Table 1: Science Paradigm Shift from Certainty to Complexity OLD SCIENCE Newtonian Reductionism 17th–19th Century NEW SCIENCE Relativity, quantum physics, Chaos/Complexity 20th Century–Present Clock metaphor Computer metaphor Mechanistic machine model Complex adaptive system—seed model Linear Nonlinear Precision Spontaneity Equilibrium: producing nothing Nonequilibrium: creating renewal Static, stable Dynamic, turbulent Reductionism—partial (parts) Holistic—synthesis Order, stagnation, symmetry Disorder, chaos, anarchy Predictable Unpredictable, “butterfly effect” Dualism—“either/or” Multi—“both/and” Dissociated, disconnected Emergence—togetherness, relational Specialization, determinism Systems thinking processes Uniform, deterministic Random No change: non-renewal, limited growth Self-organization: adaptive, exchange between order and disorder Entropy Self-renewing, growth Controlled Fluctuation Isolated—separate, unconnected Independent—connected, relationships, flexible network Restrict—withhold Empowerment—permit Disconnection—nonconnected Process—strategic thinking “Power over” “Power with” Divide and conquer Synthesize and “win-win” Understanding Chaos for Career Planning Table 2: Career Paradigm Shifts Old Career Paradigm New Career Paradigm One career for life Multicareer, re-careering Certainty, determinism Uncertainty, ambiguity Analytic, rational Intuitive, creative Rigid Adaptable Competition, win-lose Cooperation, collegial, win-win “Yet all of the deep and lasting revolutions in human development have been generated from just such shifts” (p.

It goes to the core of people’s lives, changes our view of reality and can be felt in the body, heart, mind, and soul. Paradigms operate beneath the surface of popular culture, unnoticed until the old way begins to generate more problems than it solves. Table 1 illustrates the some of the major paradigm shifts in science. Table 2 illustrates some of the paradigm shifts that will be needed to be successful in a career today. According to Elgin (2000, p. ” This lets us experience ourselves as alive—ultimately connected and related to all—cousins to everything in a living, continuously regenerated universe.

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