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Why Career Planning Is Time Wasted

Posted in all posts, planning by coleman yee on January 30, 2007

We teachers have this tendency to encourage our students to do long-term planning, partly because that’s what we’ve been encouraged to do ourselves when we were younger, and even in every stage of our career.

For myself, even though I don’t ask my students explicitly to plan, I’d sometimes ask  rather unthinkingly, things like, “so what are you going to do after you graduate?”

The student who hasn’t made any plans yet would normally be a little embarressed that they don’t have any plans to speak of, and thus be pressured to start thinking and making plans.

But after reading this article, “Why Career Planning Is Time Wasted“, I’m brought to realize that long-term career planning is overrated, probably useless, and often results in less-than-happy situations if followed.

The next time I ask a student about their plans, I’ll remember to add that it’s really not necessary to plan so far ahead, and that they’ll probably be happier off without the planning.

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3 Responses

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  1. Lam Chun See said, on January 31, 2007 at 10:33 am

    I always remember this question by my HR mgr during the interview for my 1st job. “What do you see yourself 15 years down the road?” At that time, I thought it was a stupid questions. 29 years later, I still think it was a stupid question.

    But having said that, I sometimes wish that someone had given me advice on which course to enrol for in university. I simply followed what the bright students did in 1971. Only in my 3rd year when I did a non-technical elective in Sociology that I realize that that was something I would have loved to study.

    PS – Any way to increase the size of your fonts in the comments section or not? It’s a real strain for me.

  2. coleman yee said, on February 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    If you’re using Firefox, increasing the font size is just a matter of pressing Ctrl+= (hold ctrl and press the + or = key). Hope this helps.

  3. lakeside girl said, on February 3, 2007 at 12:50 am

    Sometimes i wonder, if they may not have career plans after graduation, (which i agree are pretty overrated and useless at times), surely they know their own dreams / ambitions in life? While many do not have a blueprint of how their career life goes, surely one is human enough to have aspirations. But i find that fewer and fewer Singapore youths are inspired to dream big wonderful dreams anymore…

    This so-called career planning have drugged us with behavior control pills. We have learnt to accept the status quo. Our generation may make a comfortable living in whatever jobs they try in the future, but we have lost the ability to be dreamers.


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