I was pondering what I had learned about careers and career guidance during that time. Tons as you might imagine - but what is the essence or summary?
It wasn't entirely clear to me 25 years ago that career choice, planning and guidance is not merely about looking at the person and at the options and trying to make a fit. That was how I had been indoctrinated by school and higher education.
It is much more about finding out what makes a person truly tick and helping them to carve the niche they need to fulfil their potential if that niche is not already there.
In other words less of a matching process and more of an exploring process of who one is, who one would like to become, where one would like to go and how. It requires vision and the courage to state what one wants. It requires an ability to look more closely at the self than most people would normally choose to do.
But by harnessing all these elements there is a far better chance of developing a career that actually matches who you are rather than trying to fit yourself into a box that others have created.
It is all about taking responsibility and empowerment to do so.
And that process can be at the same time - scary, cathartic, challenging and fun.
And I like being the supportive catalyst!