It’s a shame that the only programs available are those for the trades like electricians or plumbers or the professions like lawyers and physicians. Those lucky few have formalized access to a master or masters to guide them on their path.
For the rest of us, the so called knowledge workers, have to make do with a company or corporation to teach us.
And companies no matter how well intended do a lousy job. The problem is that they train us to one dimensional end. It’s as if an electrician was trained only to pull wire. Someone else would wire the outlets and switches, and another would pull the power into a fuse box.
I’ve gone through three major career/life changes in my life. All of them proved to be traumatic. All of them were blessings well disguised. In all of them I went from expert to neophyte and very slowly back to expert.
I was completely unprepared to deal with the first two changes, the last was smoother, but none of them proved to be the romantic renewal experience I’d read about. Conception proved to be a lot more fun than the process of birth.
Along the way I was constantly reminded of how much I didn’t know. The learning curve of change is very steep. But all of us have to master it. I learned some stuff about coping that I plan to share.
For each of these changes, I served three “ apprenticeships” only one of which was formal. The other two were self taught.
The first taught me to manage a business.
The second taught me sales and marketing.
The third taught me craftsmanship and discipline.
All three taught me life skills. All of them taught me how to learn. All of them taught me to teach.
If you were a good wire puller, chances are, you’d get to manage the other wire pullers. By you might be suffering a bit of job burnout. Anybody would after years of mind numbing wire pulling.
Then when you got to be fifty or so, they’d ease you out. “We’ve decided we need younger blood”. They wouldn’t say that out loud of course, but the message would be clear. And there you would be trying to find a job as a wire puller, feeling the anger that all your years of service weren’t valued.
By its own rights the company had done the right thing. Corporations get efficient by employing specialists who over time do their work well.
The name of the game is profit and that comes from productivity.
There is an alternate strategy. Self learning. Autoditact is the the other word used to describe the lifestyle midset.
We need to take responsibility for our own development. It’s the one sure way to reclaim the power to have a say in the way our lives turn out.
It’s the one sure way to break out the cycle of “cost of living” raises that give us the illusion that we’re getting ahead but really keep us all in a cycle of debt.