What is the Chaos Theory of Careers?
The Chaos Theory of Careers embraces the idea that career paths are not always linear, measurable, or predictable. People’s careers can’t generally be predicted: in fact, they change and evolve, often in unexpected ways. In today’s working world, with such developments as the gig economy and the suggestion that the average person may have ten different careers in their lifetime, this theory resonates strongly with me!
What is Unique About It?
Chaos Career Theory emerged as a response to more traditional theories of career development. Traditional career development strategies have involved exploring interests, personality, and preferences to choose a career first, and then following steps to achieve your career goal, which might include completing relevant education and gaining experience.
These traditional methods of career exploration and career choice definitely have value (that’s why they’ve been around for so long!) However, they tend to miss a crucial component – the unpredictability of the world we live in and the impact of chance events on our lives. This level of unpredictability understandably stresses us out – most people hate uncertainty and tend to fear drastic changes. The Chaos Theory of Careers encourages us to embrace unpredictability and change as an inevitable part of our career experience – and use it to our advantage.
So how can the Chaos Theory help you in your career? Here are a few ideas to help you embrace chaos in your career and use it to your advantage!
- Work on Developing Skills to Deal With Chaos. Rather than trying to avoid chaos, risk, and uncertainty, work on developing personal capabilities to handle these situations better. Skills to work on include developing flexibility, optimism, persistence, risk-taking, strategizing, and positivity. Keep in mind that all of these traits are mindsets, and even if you’re not naturally a flexible and positive risk-taker, you can work towards improving your ability to handle these situations (if you want to!)
- Be Open to New Ideas & Experiences. All career development emphasizes planning and working towards goals, but the unpredictability of the world, unfortunately, doesn’t ensure that we’ll always achieve our goal in the way we hoped. In cases where we don’t reach our goals, openness allows us to consider and utilize the opportunities and advantages that weren’t part of our original plan. In these cases, constructive thinking enables us to develop alternative strategies and work towards new opportunities when not everything goes according to plan.
- Allow Yourself to Take Risks. Although many people think they hate taking risks, the fact is that life’s uncertainty exposes everyone to risks. Fear of failure can cause people to avoid taking opportunities and developing in their careers. Everyone should start by taking small, measured risks. In accepting some level of risk, and allowing yourself to take small steps towards your career goals, you may start to gain momentum in a positive direction.
Workshop Coming Up!
Interested in learning more about the Chaos Theory of Careers (and how to use it to your advantage)? I’m holding a Kick Start Your Career workshop in October with my friend Sita-Rani MacMillan which will cover Chaos Theory, Journaling to Discover Your Career Goals, MBTI & Career Values Assessments, Personal Branding Techniques, and more!
We have a special early bird deadline for registration that expires September 10th (Full day attendance at the event, plus lunch, snacks, and two career assessments!) Find out more information about this workshop here: http://flourishcareerconsulting.com/workshops/
My friend, Sita-Rani MacMillan, M.Ed is an established facilitator who has been hosting numerous workshops on journaling for the past 8 years. These workshops have been presented across Canada to a wide audience with the focus on personal growth development through journaling. She’ll be teaching us how to use journaling to focus on career growth and development. Learn moer about Sita-Rani here: https://www.sitaranimacmillan.com/about-me