How do I get a great career?
People from my high school days have asked me about career options. I wasn’t good at advising it. But I still try to talk to them about it. I was later asked to return to my high school to talk to some students preparing for university. I just read The alchemist then, so I talked about finding out about your life goals. I have people ask me at work now, for their kids, on thoughts on career options. I thought I shouldn’t stop sharing.
I don’t have experience with too many careers, but I worked part time in different fields and have the pleasure of meeting many people from University of Waterloo in my students years who had to think hard about their careers, especially when there are co-op options at the school. My career has expanded from just doing eye exams and eye wear and dry eye treatments, and now neural vision rehab. I am taking more courses that are relevant, and trying to improve my writing. In the future, it may perhaps expand into other fields as well. Who knows, it's a changing world.
I had the luxury of watching Larry Smith on his Ted talk, Why you failed to have a great career . Later, I was reading up on his book, What you need to do have a great career. He is an economics professor, and an advisor for the co-op students. He had some wisdom to share as his time being an advisor to the co-op program.
Here are some of his thoughts,
“To actively and positively enjoy your career is the single largest step you can take toward your ultimate success and no exertion is too great to move you toward this indispensable condition.”
“Competition is causing the standard of performance to rise and it will continue to do so. And all the performance measures are rising.”
“Once, you needed only to talk about your initiative. Now, you need to show evidence of initiative before you even begin your career. Tomorrow your record of initiative must begin from the first year of secondary school.”
In his book, he shared an example of one student going into tech who felt great loss after five years, and one student going into arts and make leaps and bounds with it after five years. The difference is passion. He share how he helped students turned passion into a career.
Feel free to read it, and apply the knowledge. It’s also a great gift for parents of teenage or university kids.
He also helps students become entrepreneurs now. Here are his updates on the website.
His last words,
“There is no shortage of work.
There may on occasion be a general shortage of jobs and particular jobs are always disappearing. But those are shortages of jobs, not work to be done.
How can there be a shortage of work in a world of stupidity, failure, disease, accident, pain, unhappiness, ignorance, betrayal, boredom and death? The challenge of work is to find a feasible solution to one of 10 million problems, to raise the resources to implement the solution and to persuade people to use the solution. That is work, entrepreneurial work. Soon there will be no other kind of work.”
“A few workers are preparing for yesterday's competition. Most are preparing for today's competitive pressures. The elite workers are preparing for tomorrow's competition.
If your preparations for career consist only of academic success and a few reasonable co-op or summer jobs....”
我诊所里验眼的一些孩子每年都回来。有时候，他们到11， 12 年班的时候，他们的妈妈会问我一些孩子选课， 读大学的问题，和以后的事业。
我很早就决定要读眼科了， 15岁的时候。现在还在这一行，个人转型经验不多。但是，我本科和眼科都是在滑铁卢读的。十七年前，大一的时候，我身边的朋友们很早就知道读什么，进哪个 Co-op，找什么工作了。（这不一定是一件好事，因为，世界在变）
滑铁卢的其中一个导师，他叫 Larry Smith. 他是经济课的教授，也是Co-op学生的辅导员。他说，
他写了一本书，叫 ”你需要什么来拥有一个很棒的事业？” 书中，他给了他遇到的很多他曾经的学生的例子。其中， 一个理科的IT男头五年过的很顺，但是，后来就不好了。另外一个文科女的， 刚开始不容易，但是五年后，步步高升。差别在那？是激情。 作者本人也帮了很多学生把激情做成事业。
当这个世界还有很多愚蠢， 失败，意外，疾病，痛苦，无知，不开心，背叛，无聊，死亡，怎么会没有工作。你的挑战就是在这十万个问题中找一个答案，找出资源来实行这个解决方案，和说服别人来买你这个解决方案 （买单）。这就是工作。你的工作就是创业者。很快的未来，这可能是唯一的工作。”
这本书值得一看。 也适合圣诞节当礼物。现在在我的眼科诊所 Warden Optometry 消费超过$500, 会送一本。 送完即止。
Yan Ling Liang
101, 30 Gibson Dr. Markham ON