The four teachers that make up a part of the S. D. 60 career department have just wrapped up a week of presentations at local middle schools, speaking to grade nine students who are soon to embark on a transition year from middle to high school. One of our messages was that students should feel open to exploring their personal identities and developing an understanding of their own unique and varied combinations of knowledge, skills, and talents. For young people moving through the rest of their personal, educational, and career journeys, it can be argued that a strong understanding of one’s own set of personal values may be the most important consideration of them all.
This begs a question. Could you imagine feeling trapped in an occupation that ate at your very soul every time you reported to work because it conflicted with your guiding principles?
Coincidentally (not coincidentally?), I stumbled across an article this morning about a particular value that is very common among Millennials. Generally speaking, Millennials prefer career choices in which they feel they are leaving marks and making positive differences in the world. A quick Google search reveals that a Millennial is someone who comes into adulthood in the early portions of the 21st Century. The generational line has yet to be defined between those categorized as Millennials, and the generation after, Generation Z. The students we spoke to this week are likely to be in the Generation Z camp, which, according to Wikipedia, is also motivated by a “want to change the world”. This is a trait we share.
So, as a career educator, I would like our students, as they transition through to the working portions of their lives, and as they navigate the maze of trying to find a good career fit, to ask themselves, “Am I making a difference in the world? Does my work matter?” (LinkedIn article)