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Things to do while you’re waiting for luck Thomas S. Krieshok University of Kansas

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Presentation on theme: "Things to do while you’re waiting for luck Thomas S. Krieshok University of Kansas"— Presentation transcript:

1 Things to do while you’re waiting for luck Thomas S. Krieshok University of Kansas

2 The human brain is not designed for happiness When we try to predict what will make us happy, we make errors Implications of this for career counseling Key Points:

3 Members of the A (Adaptability) Team over the years: Chris EbberweinMike BlackRobyn McKayRich Scott Melanie NobleSelby ConradShawn BubanyBrian Cole John JacobsonCraig BeesonKate SirridgeKristin Rasmussen Maggie SymeSarah BrownMary KrogmannMatt Robinson Dan CoxEric LycheJeff RettewRhea Owens Thomas MotlAbby BjornsenWendy ShoemakerMatt Davis Carrissa HuffmanKirsten WellsMichael RosenBenjamin Rutt Alex VuykAaron GatesBrittany StewartErik Clarke Craig WarlickMarlon BeachMichael TernesJamie Kratky

4 The readiness is all. Shakespeare 4

5 Consider happiness “The word happiness exists in every language; it is plausible the thing itself exists.” Jorge Luis Borges How might the research on happiness inform aspects of career counseling

6 Consider happiness We want that which we believe will make us happy We set about getting that But often end up less happy than we imagined

7 Not designed for happiness Humans not designed for Happiness, but Survival and Reproduction We always want just a bit more wealth, privilege, beauty, and youth Precursors to survival and reproductive likelihood The Hedonic Treadmill

8 Not designed for happiness The human mind as an experience simulator We are not so adept at predicting the intensity and duration of our future emotional reactions Affective Forecasting (Wilson & Gilbert)

9 Side Effects of human design 1. We overestimate our ability to get things done in the future 2. We underestimate our resourcefulness for dealing with obstacles 3. Consciousness only sees a movie about reality

10 Side Effects of human design Leads to Miswanting We think something will make us happier than it does...and based on faulty assumptions, We avoid things we expect will be difficult

11 Side Effects of human design So we want things we won't end up liking And we resist wanting things we would end up liking

12 Doing better but feeling worse (Iyengar, Wells, & Schwartz) College seniors: Maximizers vs. Satisficers Perceived value of possible outcomes influenced by: – Mis-predicted expectations during the decision process – Affect experienced during the decision process itself – Social values

13 Doing better but feeling worse (Iyengar, Wells, & Schwartz) Even when they get what they want Maximizers may not want what they get

14 Human Design Issues The brain is part of the problem Areas for Wanting ≠ Areas for Liking

15 Human Design Issues Amalgam of brain systems Cobbled together over time To adapt to evolving environmental demands

16 System 1 and System 2 System 1: Intuitive, non-conscious mind -related to “older” functions of the brain System 2: Rational, often conscious mind -related to “newer” functions of the brain -especially language

17 System 1 and System 2 The Elephant and the Rider (Haidt) – The elephant - System 1 (Bargh’s ‘Wise Unconscious’) Makes most day to day decisions – The rider - System 2 Has some input, but not as much as we think Acts as an Interpreter Module (Gazzaniga) Fabricates reasons for behavior Makes errors in guessing those reasons

18 Wanting vs. Liking Liking depends more on System 1 and automaticity Wanting depends more on System 2 – Influenced by socialization, gender proscriptions,... – Subject to heuristics and errors

19 Wanting vs. Liking What do I want? is really: What would somebody like me want? What would/should somebody with my identity/self concept want? But identity is a socially constructed entity My story is ABOUT reality, not reality itself

20 There’s someone in my head, but it’s not me. Pink Floyd The heart has its reasons, that reason knows not of. Pascal

21 Wanting ≠ Liking Implications for career counseling A particular issue for the matching model

22 Matching Model Self-knowledge – What do you want in your work? World of work knowledge – What's out there? True reasoning – Match the first to the second Match me to work that will bring me happiness

23 Matching Model What I really need to match to: – Is not what I WANT – But what I'd LIKE

24 Matching Model A better quesion: What kind of work will give me what I Like? Figure out what you Like & Plan with that knowledge

25 Wanting is cheap Liking is expensive Wanting is easy: I can tell you what I want Liking is expensive data – I have to develop a history of likes across domains

26 Knowing my Likes Thomas Motl: Teasing out wanting & liking Beforehand: Do you think you will like it? While you are doing it: Do you like it? Tomorrow: Did you like it? Ask me on an interest inventory: – "Is this something you like?"

27 Knowing my Likes System 1: You have to put yourself in places where you have the opportunity To Like or To Not Like System 2: You have to pay attention to what happens You have to know that System 2 is subject to errors and distortions

28 Reason System 2, Rational System, Reflective System. Intuition System 1, Experiential System, Reflexive System. Engagement Activities that increase one ’ s fund of information and experience. Trilateral Model of Adaptive CDM

29 The Case for Engagement “… taking part in behaviors that contribute to the career decision-maker’s fund of information and experience.” Makes both Rational & Intuitive tools more informed and less naive

30 The Case for Engagement RationalityIntuition InformedInformed Rationality Informed Intuition NaiveNaive Rationality Naive Intuition

31 Implications for Career Counseling Career Counseling clients need convincing about all of this Hard Sells – Invest time and energy in learning your Likes – Move out of your comfort zone – Recognize your mind is something of a parasite

32 Implications for Career Counseling Integrate well-researched counseling interventions that address behavior change

33 Implications for Career Counseling Stages of change – I need to do the work to learn my likes – Where am I in that process?

34 Implications for Career Counseling Motivational Interviewing – I'm ambivalent about engaging in that hard work

35 Implications for Career Counseling Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – My thoughts (System 2) are subject to all manner of social influence – My thoughts are not reality – My thoughts have an agenda of their own, often not the same as my agenda for my life

36 Takeaway message Happiness research tells us: – Knowing what you like is hard – That makes matching more complicated – Career counselors can use behavior change tools to encourage engagement

37 An Extremist Position Three frightening things about the way we have traditionally thought about decision making.

38 Radical Argument 1: You don’t get to keep your decision anyway. Even if there was a time when matching did work, today’s world of work is so turbulent that we can no longer count on keeping our match.

39 Radical Argument 2: We can’t help you choose rationally, because that’s not how people make choices

40 Ridiculous Argument 3: Opportunity Costs The matching model implies more control than you really have, and distracts you from doing that which you should really be doing (engaging).

41 Soelberg ’ s 1967 study with MIT grads We identify a ‘ favorite ’ early on We engage in an ‘ exercise in prejudice ’ to ensure our favorite wins We only commit once we have an adequate rationalization 41 Radical Argument 2:

42 Mark Twain: It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that ain’t so that gets you into trouble.

43 Examples of Occupational Engagement Studying abroad Being involved in organizations Talking to anyone at anytime about anything Volunteering Job shadowing Traveling Reading a section of the newspaper you normally don’t 43

44 Anti-Engagement Messages Students Hear Choose a major by the time you have 45 credit hours You already have a good paying summer job, don’t take an internship that pays less Study Abroad will only extend your time in college Your school work is your job, So don’t volunteer or get a part time job. Go take that test, it will tell you what to do. All you can do with a history degree is teach The most important thing is your grades 44

45 Our firmest conclusion: Be Engaged!!! – Better chance your intuition will be expert Be prepared! (always be engaged) – Ebberwein ’ s study of laid off workers 45

46 Ridiculous Argument 3: Opportunity Costs The matching model implies more control than you really have, and distracts you from doing that which you should really be doing (engaging).

47 Chaos in the world of work Science lets us predict on a grand scale – Can predict 10% unemployment Not so much at the elemental level – Which workers will lose their jobs – Which businesses or industries will survive 47

48 Understanding & Believing in chaos is important Make your job loss less personal Make your job search less trusting in a fair system of job hunting 48

49 Getting a job is ALWAYS a matter of being in a right place at the right time. -There are NO exceptions to this rule -In spite of how it looks – or what others try to tell you 49

50 Drat that chaos! Wisdom and science tell us: Vision and Planning fare better. But what of those who fail with a plan – or succeed without? Getting a job is always a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

51 Need to accept the limited amount of order in the World of Work learn to adapt on the fly capitalize on idiosyncratic events let go of our demand that the world be completely ordered and soften our rigid hold on reality

52 Chinese proverb To be uncertain is uncomfortable, But to be certain is ridiculous.

53 On being human Things change – We adapt – We survive

54 On being human Things are changing on a massive scale – We are adapting, but at a human pace If we fail to adapt, we risk negative consequences: – personally, nationally, globally

55 But adaptability is limited As humans, we require predictability for survival. – And predictability yearns for stability – Language tends to create patterns of predictability, even when they aren’t there I’ll take the devil I know vs. the devil I don’t

56 Ideal vs. Real Ideal starting point: Adaptable, Wise, Smart Real starting point: Real humans, with modular brains, language bound, chaos avoidant Ideal environment: Savannah Real environment: Chaos

57 Leads to several dialectics Dialectic #1: Decidedness Decidedness feels better than undecidedness: so work to get decided but… Decidedness cannot be forced. If it happens, so be it; if not, you have to leave it alone. And it might never come.

58 Dialectic #2: Planning Having a good plan is essential but: It’s always a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

59 Dialectic #3: Flow Our STORY about work is that it’s a drudgery. but… The reality is that we are in flow when we are at work more so than in any other role.

60 Dialectic #4: The Zen of Career Act as though every moment is absolutely critical to your career success but… Laugh at the idea that career success is important at all.

61 Dialectic #5: Commitment within Relativism Be out front with a passionate plan but Wake up every day to the possibility that today might be the day you receive your next calling.

62 Planned Happenstance John Krumboltz Combines planfulness with an appreciation for happenstance – How might we exploit chaos in a positive way? – How might we learn to embrace situations? – Can we create such situations?

63 Planned Happenstance Take-home Lessons Reinforce the role of chaos in the world of work Identify past experiences of happenstance Encourage creativity in planning for happenstance

64 A Proposed NEW Biggest Problem: ADAPTABILITY: – Developing an Adaptive relationship to the marketplace

65 Adaptability in the marketplace Ability to move about in… Transition into and out of… Accurately appraise one’s strengths and weaknesses as a player in the marketplace Not one’s abilities as a worker per se

66 Adaptability as the new GOLD Standard From Match-Making to Meaning-Making. Development is continually adapting to a changing environment – RATHER THAN an internal impetus to maturation

67 Things to do while you ’ re waiting for luck 1. Being a great student and worker is not enough – We need to be adaptive agents – With a healthy relationship to the marketplace. 2. Avoid choosing until you have developed your expertise – Differentiate Decidedness from Commitment 3. Don’t always trust what your thoughts are telling you. – Your thoughts are not your friends. – Rational explanations may be driven by other agendas

68 Things to do while you ’ re waiting for luck 4. Feed your intuition Engage your 11,000,000 bit processor Instead of your 20 bit processor 5. Consult with trusted others, especially on your strengths 6. Don ’ t spend too much time in self assessment

69 Things to do while you ’ re waiting for luck 7. Most of all, ENGAGE – Set yourself up for planned happenstance 8. Once (re)employed, STAY engaged 9. Choose Action over Decision (Savickas) 10. Lead a value-driven life – Instead of a quest for a pain-free life

70 To summarize: 1. Feed your intuition 2. Avoid choosing until you have developed your expertise 3. Don ’ t always trust what your thoughts are telling you. – Rational explanations may be driven by other agendas 70

71 To summarize more 4. Consult with trusted others, especially on your strengths 5. Don ’ t spend too much time in self assessment 6. Most of all, ENGAGE – Set yourself up for planned happenstance 71

72 To summarize one last time 7. Once (re)employed, STAY engaged – Check the smoke alarms once a month, rather than once a year (Rich Scott) 72

73 So Dude, like, get out in the world and have some great experiences!


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