The Reality of Careers

In the past decade in blogs, news magazines, and television, careers come up every quarter or so presenting the hottest jobs, the jobs which pay the most, jobs which are high stress and so on. For some of us this is a call to really think whether we need to change, whether we are in the right field or whether we are looking for a job that “call” to us. All roads lead to one place CAREERS. Who are we? Or, who are we going to become?

Currently if you do not have a good education, chances of getting a “family sustaining” job become harder each year. But now education is getting expensive, that which assured equality (Education) will be now a privilege to the few. But in some areas, the internet has become the new equalizer with its now vantage of online learning, if you have the money. This push for further learning is to build what will become our identity once we are declared an adult……a career.

Throughout the US, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has come out emphasizing one major point for individuals……career paths. Career paths are the new hot ticket item trying to lower the percentage of individuals looking for work, and keeping folks working until retirement. Career paths are started in high school with big flair and hopes for students to follow their career plans to college, vocational or even to a job itself. WIOA has pushed the concept of supporting job seekers and employers, to integrate their services to better connect them with local and state efforts. 

Now here is where the reality sets in. we may agree with career paths and the need for workers to get more skills needed for evolving jobs, but if your main worry is to put food on the table, career paths take a strong back seat to other needs. Everyone, and I mean everyone, functions at the five levels a man by the name of Maslow theorized. Abraham Maslow theorized these levels of human motivation, that put on the workforce lens, do bring some guide as to how to tackle a career path. Most people that are looking for work will first worry about how to get the basic needs met (food, shelter and security). If this first part is not achieved, career paths are a quaint idea. All of us distinctly know we need to have this part of our lives fulfilled before taking our next step. That next step encompasses our mental needs (psychological) which brings the idea of career paths into a person’s main scope.

At this second part, the needs now turn to a psychological attainment of the company a person keeps and the feeling of accomplishments they wish to do throughout their career. Our sense of purpose takes over, we want to make a difference and how we are impact ourselves, our family and our community take a front role. This is where career paths are a wonderful addition to a person’s personal goals.

Taking on the challenge of career paths, one must see the entire person first and their focus to the type of career they are looking to fulfill. Are the looking for a job? Are they looking for a career? This is where wrap around services came into fruition. To some agencies and organizations this might prove as an obstacle, to others through collaboration and partnership, it will prove a way to put people into family sustaining careers.