Simple answers make us feel safer, especially in disruptive and tumultuous times.
We tend to move away from tumult. Human nature prefers the habits, rituals and the agreeable comforts of what we know. We draw a degree of situational steadiness from reliable fact and reason.
Perhaps the more significant gain comes from looking between the career pathways. We do not need a career algorithm to solve for a pandemic economy. We need high school learning that invests in gradual skill acquisition and dispositional adjustment relating to negative capability.
Negative capability is calm assurance and innovatory endeavour in times of uncertainty, mystery and doubt. These inevitable moments define the ups and downs of striving for something original (life).
I also like how Tony Schwartz
describes it - (where you see leader
, read student
But rather than certainty, modern leaders need to consciously cultivate the capacity to see more — to deepen, widen, and lengthen their perspectives. Deepening depends on our willingness to challenge our blind spots, deeply held assumptions, and fixed beliefs. Widening means taking into account more perspectives — and stakeholders — in order to address any given problem from multiple vantage points. Lengthening requires focusing on not just the immediate consequences of a decision but also its likely impact over time.
Imagine if we design careers education and learning around those three ideas. Maybe they are just core components of sound critical thinking.