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For the 21st century, you need intuition

From Cathy's ebook, Your Intuitive Move

The nineteenth century brought the Industrial Revolution, which changed the way we did things. The twentieth century introduced change in the rate of change.

In the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, you could plan a career and hope for security. People were advised, "If you choose Profession X, or learn Skill Y, you'll always have a job."

My high school advisors said, "If you can type, you can always work. We will always need secretaries." A few years ago a CPA told me the partners of his Big Six firm are typing their own letters and memos. Three partners share a single assistant.

Some people remain in the time zone that ended more than two decades ago. A former academic colleague shared concerns about his children: "I want them to major in a technical field so they can always get a job."

His oldest child is fourteen. By the time she enters the work force, technical skills may be taken for granted, and universities may no longer offer the tenure that constitutes his own security blanket.

Today, you need flexiblity and intuition. Flexibility means being a free spirit, being willing to take risks and make moves because they feel right, not waiting until we are forced by circumstances. We need skills to roll with the punches, not tools that can be used only when the ground beneath us is firm and solid.

Intuition means sensing that, "This move isn't right for me," or, "I will need a job change soon." We need to rely less on rules and external process and more on, "The emperor has no clothes. I don't care what everyone else says. I know"

The airline world is beginning to realize that their procedures were based on assumptions that were turned upside down. They taught their employees to follow the rules. In the aftermath of 9-11, people began saying, "The rules won't work here."

Well, the rules aren't working in a lot of life domains that rely on procedures: health care, justice, education and more. Those sectors ultimately will be transformed, not just revised with a new layer of rules and assessments.

The New Career Strategy calls for a combination of freedom and intuition. You can't rely on a counselor to calculate your future from a battery of tests. What's needed is a change in values from security to adventure, and a jungle guide to help you find water in the career desert.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site or call 505-534-4294.

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