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Teenager, Version 2 - Career Development and Life Management

By Thomas Eklund

This article is the third part of a seven article series on neglecting versus using goal oriented creativity management principles.

These articles have a common thread that is related to CreativityModel Method usage. From a teenager to an employee, to president of a company or a country - CreativityModel Method usage principles are the same. So, your learning to use them is worth the effort, because you can use these creativity management skills throughout your life.

Both Version 1 and 2 are examples of projects that require goal oriented handling. Each Version 1 is an example of a scenario where goal oriented creativity principles should be used, but are not being used. This creates consequences. That's just the way life is, whether we like it or not.

Each Version 2 is the same scenario, except that this time goal oriented creativity is being used. The consequences are different, too.

  • So, when you read this material, ask yourself, which version do you identify with more, Version 1 or 2?
  • Do you recognize any of the people you know in these versions? In version 1 or 2?
  • Both goal oriented creativity usage and self-expressive creativity usage can be learned and taught. Keeping this in mind, where are you now, and where do you want to be, as far as your own goal oriented creative thinking skills usage is concerned? Do you know anybody in your life who would benefit from improving his or her creativity management skills?

Career Development and Life Management

You are the very same person, as in Teenager, Version 1, facing most of the same issues. The difference is that you have learned to manage your goal oriented and self expressive creative thinking skills better. As a result, you seek out and manage information differently, using the theme/goals/structure/components flexible framework. This helps to decrease information overload and confusion, and to increase clarity. As a result, your priorities change, and that triggers changes in the choices you make and in your actions - what you do and don't do. That, in turn, triggers changes in the outcome.

So, let's start from the beginning.

You are in your senior year at high school and want to go to college. You also want to choose a profession for yourself. You want to figure out, where you want to end up in the longer run - what kind of work you want to do, and what kind of life you want to live.

It's not that you will establish some kind of a long term goal, and then will work diligently towards achieving it. You could do something like that, but that's not for you.

It's simply the case, that figuring out where you want to be will help you to figure out how to get there. That journey matters. That journey is your life. Once you have a roadmap, you will have points of comparison, and you can make changes to your roadmap as needed. Having a roadmap helps you to figure out what's right for you.

So, it's not about getting the long-term objectives perfectly right. Perfection is not required here. Doing research is required, and putting enough thinking into the planning process is required. Further, using the right approach to this planning process is required as well.

You decide, that you don't want to live your life just by searching for new experiences. After a while, that renders your life nearly meaningless. Life is self discovery, but there is no need to go through these processes aimlessly.

Having some structure in your life, some understanding of where you are going with your life and why, and how you will get there, is good for you. Knowing, what you can do today, so that your life will be better in the future, is good for you. If helps to give your life meaning and purpose. It also helps, when things get tough, as they inevitably do at least every once in a while.

Even imperfect goals, that you will modify as needed, are better than no goals and no structure.

This desire had to come from you. You had to understand first, why you need this, why this is good for you. Otherwise, you just keep rebelling without a cause, bumping into all sorts of obstacles one after another, thinking that there is no better way, anyway.

So, you talk with different people about what kind of work you like to do, and about going to college. You gather ideas and suggestions and evaluate them, doing some Internet research in addition to talking to more people.

Having information is helpful and can make a big difference. How you use the information can make even bigger differences.

For example, your dad's friend is a network administrator, working with computers. You don't understand everything about that work, but it seems kind of appealing. Well, to be honest, there is a lot that you don't understand about it - but that's OK. It seems, that the number of things that you would need to know in order to do that kind of work is overwhelming - but that's OK, too.

You can evaluate if that kind of work provides opportunities and an environment that may be right for you, your personality, aptitude and aspirations. Then you can figure out how to get there - what kind of education, expertise and experiences are needed. You can divide that path into milestones, and evaluate each milestone's possible appropriateness for you. You can also test your assumptions and conclusions along the way in practice, through getting real life experience as much as you can.

On the Internet, different sources provide information on how to become a network administrator. That's helpful, but you approach this differently. In addition to researching information on how to become a network administrator, you research information on being a network administrator.

You find out that one of the problem areas, and an area that can be very helpful, is related to understanding business management as an IT person. The better you understand how IT can help a company an organization to achieve it's objectives, the more valuable your skills can become.

Further, the better you understand the needs and wants of people who use IT products and services, the more suitable solutions you can devise and recommend.

Additionally, you find out that your "soft skills," or people skills, are also very important. In addition, teamwork is important. While in school you achieve most of the results working on your own, in workforce you achieve the most when working with other people, in one way or another. That's a very big difference. Knowing something may be important, but listening to other people and incorporating their viewpoints into your own thinking and actions is at least as important.

Even though a lot of the information that you dig out pertains to IT leadership jobs and positions, gaining some high level understanding of this information helps you to make decisions regarding the previous steps, and the entry level positions, too. This information helps to generate and evaluate different options for moving forward.

You will also need certifications. Before that, some people recommend help desk positions and support jobs. Before that, people recommend internships.

You research different milestones on this path, and working in different positions, the same way you researched topics that are related to working as a network administrator.

The information that you find about working in help desk positions seems most troublesome.

What if, starting with the internships and entry level positions, you will focus on finding positions that combine getting some entry level business management exposure with IT experience? What are some of the options that you may find - and develop - for that?

You explore different alternatives, step-by-step. Gaining sufficient understanding on the information that you work with requires a lot of time and effort, but it's worth it.

Similarly, you research and evaluate steps that are related to going to college.

Maybe, in the longer run, you should aim at getting an undergraduate degree in an IT area, with a minor in business management, and then a masters degree in business management? Or, a masters degree in that IT area that will appeal to you the most when you will apply to graduate schools?

You don't have to decide any of that yet, of course. What you do want to decide now, is which colleges and universities to apply to.

Before going to college there is the admissions process, of course. So, for your favorite schools you also explore how each school's admissions process works. What does each of the schools on your list emphasize? What kinds of students are they looking for? What do they value the most? How can you market yourself so, that the "package" that you put together is most appealing to these schools? Obviously, you want to remain honest and ethical, but all of us have different aspects to us, our aspirations and our experiences, that we can emphasize. Finding out what the schools are looking for, and matching that with what you have to offer, is a good idea.

You also work on the financial aid related issues. These issues are problematic, but there are solution that you can use. Instead of focusing on dwelling on the problems, you focusing on finding solutions to the problems.

You work on these areas and then send out the applications.

You also hang out with your friends and your girlfriend, whom you really like. You don't have as much time for spending with your friends and your girlfriend as you would like to have.

However, all things considered, the future is looking good. There are so many opportunities out there!