The Age of “The Profession” is Dead

by | Apr 24, 2017 | Behind the Scenes

According to Jean-Philippe Michel, a Toronto-based career coach, students today should focus on a collection of skills, rather than a particular profession. For example, Michel coaches students to acquire the skills to ‘use empathy in a medical setting’ rather than focusing on ‘becoming a doctor’.

This resonates for me. My career path has made it difficult to say what my profession is (non-profit professional? equity and sustainability consultant? social enterprise strategist?) as I have focused more on skills and passions, rather than a particular traditional title. This flexibility has led me to be able to take on projects that wouldn’t have been available to me if I had pursued, say, a job as a non-profit director (which I now find myself in, among others!). On the other hand, it makes it difficult at times to describe what I do.

How about you, readers? Do you have a traditional profession? Or do you have a set of skills that has become your career? What about the narrators in the MY JOB book?

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Suzanne Skees, author of the three-volume MY JOB series on real people in remarkable jobs, believes in the power of our jobs over our identity and wellbeing and, conversely, our ability to change our world with the work of our minds and hands. She lives by the Pacific Ocean and spends as much time as possible listening to the surf, and to silence.

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