Probing Possibilities – “Groping in the Dark”

When facilitating people in the design their later life career plans, one of the challenges is to help people probe the possibilities without necessarily having all the answers. If you are going to live longer, then your career path may have a lot more twists and pulls than your “inner ouija board” can lead you to predict.

Thinking of the role I serve today as a professional in career advisory, I am reminded of a jewel of thought from Stuart Walkley. – a brilliant thought leader in my view. He is now among other roles, a director of Oakridge Training and Consulting in the UK with expertise in International Business leadership and psychology.

In a presentation he gave at a London careers symposium in 2005, Mr Walkley suggested: “are we being too pleasant with clients? Should we not be more provoking?… helping people groping in the dark and finding something by accident?” Ideal advice for the future of planet longevity we seem to be headed for.

Sounding like 2008 and other recessionary years, the current 2011 economic news has returned us to default mantra, where immediate job creation is more the principle than waiting to find something by accident. But over the long term at whatever age you are on the longevity continuum, if you are planning to work longer it will, as Mr. Walkley suggests, be an exercise of learning how to be more comfortable probing for possibilities with your groping in the dark skills.

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