Canadian Association for Supported Employment

[cs_content][cs_element_section _id=”1″ ][cs_element_layout_row _id=”2″ ][cs_element_layout_column _id=”3″ ][cs_element_headline _id=”4″ ][cs_content_seo]Shattering the Linear Career Path Myth\n\nSubheadline space\n\n[/cs_content_seo][cs_element_text _id=”5″ ][cs_content_seo]”Shattering the linear career path myth” is an article written by CASE’s Executive Director, Joanna Goode, and is published in CareerWise by CERIC. Click here for the full CareerWise article. Following is an excerpt from the article: 
The “linear career path myth” goes something like this: our careers are straight and clear paths that we identify in high school, but only begin once we start a post-secondary pathway (college, university, workplace). This pathway sets us up with employment to take us to the finish line: retirement. High school graduation is the starting line in this “get trained, get there, stay there till you retire” view of our careers.
There are many things that are false about this narrative. I will highlight just two:

Falsehood #1: this is how careers unfold. Not so: this expectation does not reflect the realities of our current and anticipated labour market.
Falsehood #2: this ought to be a person’s goal for their own career. Again, not so: in the rare case that this narrow and linear path does work out in a person’s life, they are just as likely to end up feeling locked into it as not.

Part of how the linear career path myth negatively affects people is how it promotes false expectations and leads to frustration. Fortunately, career development professionals are engaging in the important work of combatting this myth. By painting a more realistic picture of career paths, career professionals can help jobseekers and students avoid misunderstanding the labour market and missing opportunities.
However, there is still much more to talk about. In particular, we need to take a closer look at how this myth affects people with disabilities. A person with a disability is often set along a path that, while still linear and fraught with the usual pitfalls, is much shorter.
The linear path myth has a way of making people feel stuck before they even get started.
Within the linear path myth, it’s easy for someone to get stuck thinking they don’t have skills to meaningfully contribute to the workforce just as they are. Many people believe that they can’t begin a career until they have extensive training, the right experience or formal qualifications. For someone with a disability, this same dynamic exists, but can also include an expectation that they must complete a job-readiness program before they can look for a job. By holding on to these expectations, people miss opportunities to contribute their skills and experience because they wrongly think they don’t have anything to offer. The linear path myth leads to people getting stuck before they even get started.
The linear path myth locks people into roles where they feel stuck.
If you believe the linear path model, once you complete a post-secondary pathway, that’s it: you’ve arrived and now you must stay there until retirement. Sure, you are expected to climb whatever ladder is available, but you are stuck within that profession until retirement whether you like it or not. Too much time has been invested to change your mind, and it’s too late to retrain for anything else.
“The linear path myth leads to people getting stuck before they even get started.”
For a person with a disability, there can be additional layers to this. For instance, accommodations arranged for a role may be perceived as permanent by the individual. All too often, once sufficient accommodations have been established for an employee in a particular position, the conversation about evolving roles stops. A narrow perception of what the employee’s training qualifies them for, and recognition that others may have contributed to putting position-specific accommodations in place, leave everyone feeling stuck. Expectations of gratitude, and gratitude genuinely felt, can translate into employees remaining in a specific role long term – at the expense of their career development.
In both scenarios, the linear path myth locks people into roles. It denies a person’s potential to develop new skills, and their desire to shift and continue to explore opportunities.
To continue reading “Shattering the linear career path myth” in CAREERWISE, By CERIC Click here.\n\n[/cs_content_seo][cs_element_text _id=”6″ ][/cs_element_layout_column][/cs_element_layout_row][cs_element_layout_row _id=”7″ ][cs_element_layout_column _id=”8″ ][cs_element_headline _id=”9″ ][cs_content_seo]Subheadline space\n\n[/cs_content_seo][/cs_element_layout_column][/cs_element_layout_row][/cs_element_section][/cs_content]