What’s the sound of a choo choo train gotta do with Careers?
I want you to picture a subway map. Any city, it doesn’t matter. Dubai Metro is fine. Does it look something like this? Perfect…now you can keep reading….
Wait a minute, what’s a subway map gotta do with Careers? I’ll give you a moment….pause…Aah, now I see it: direction, on and off points, entry points, diversion, parallel pathways, crossovers, intersections…you name it: that’s how all of our careers actually look. For students who are in “Age of Exploration”, the key message is to “get on the train” (it’s OK if you silently hum “choo choo” as you read this). Your first stop is your first opportunity: your first internship, your first job, your very first step towards an enriching professional life. From there, the open road beckons. If by design you stay on one route, that’s great – professional such as doctors or lawyers tend to keep moving in one direction. But note, that even one route moves in different directions. So a doctor who specializes in pediatrics in the first year may elect to move over to oncology after a few rounds during residency…this is normal.
Before introducing this concept of the subway map, I ask students to look at a quiet road, with a bend less than a kilometer away and ask them to visualize driving on this road (legally, of course): at this stage, they may not yet see all the tracks, or they may think that it is just a simple bend and the road afterwards will be as smooth as it was before…but, realistically, it’s the subway map analogy that will more likely mark their professional existence.