Why Traditional Career Advice Isn’t Relevant in the 21st Century

In an age where skill sets can become obsolete in just a few years, many workers are scrambling just to stay current. How can organizations encourage continuous learning, improve individual mobility, and foster a growth mind-set in every employee, year after year?

Amidst all confusion, searching for career guidance wherever possible seemed like the only way to find any answers.

It seemed to most of us that we were playing a game of dodgeball, where we tried to avoid being hit by his sharp questions and words, struggling to keep the conversation flowing.

Here are four reasons why traditional career advice isn’t relevant in the 21st century and what can be more resourceful instead.

At the End of the Day, Experience Will Be the Only Determinant.

You had never wanted to escape a room so much as did that day. Every inch of you was laced with fear. You couldn’t imagine doing one thing for a decade. You didn’t know how to put all of your abilities and interests in a box- there wasn’t a thing that could check all of your wishes at once.

In a study, recent trends have been highlighted such as technological change, globalization, demographic change, etc that will play a major role in affecting the career of a present-day student.

The only thing that will give clarity is a true experience. Working as interns with head-on reality in our faces will give us the time and ability to tell what we really want to do. Little hints will nudge us in the right direction.

A subtle truth is that none of us have the whole picture in our heads. Most of us go forward with a vague idea in our head- based on the movies we watch, articles we read, or the environment we are raised in. All of these factors add up to give us a limited idea of what we want in life.

Most of us fear being jobless in a world dictated by automation. However, this research also shows that automation will create more jobs than it will take. Automation is simply one of the important aspects of the future. Many others aspects will contribute towards the future as well.

Skills Matter Much More in an Unstable World.

Young people are told to pick one option- because you can’t have it all.

We are told to work harder and be consistent with our goals- but when the time comes to choose, our careers must magically fit with what society deems as success.

The only thing that you knew is that you had won an essay writing competition in fourth grade- and writing was the only thing that made a little bit of sense. You decided to improve your creativity instead of panicking.

The future holds abundance for us. While fear for the future has always existed, technological innovation may bring more to us than we can imagine. The digital age will provide access to resources and opportunities that we may have never dreamt about.

Now, people with no access to traditional educational institutions can develop their skills through the internet. This can be a huge asset to the underprivileged, who can reach their potentials.

It shows in its research about six different hypothetical workers of the future- with a combination of different skills required for their individual role. Each one of them differs vastly but they contribute deeply to society. For example- the skill of being an active listener is very important not only for a counselor but also for a teacher.

Of course, you have to start somewhere. In an unstable world dictated by new and changing norms, skills will be the new deciding element of careers.

We Don’t Know What the Future Looks like Career-Wise.

If you told anyone ten years ago that you could record your life casually and get paid for it, he’d probably spit his coffee at you and tell you to jog on. Who knew that you could be a vlogger or a social media manager and get paid for it?

There is still hope for all of the people like me who never thought of a defined action plan. This might sound optimistic, but if we leap back in time, opportunities weren’t as endless as they are today. With the digital age rising and paving its way, new paths are being written and old ones are being replaced.

The paths that were defined for older generations are no longer valid anymore. Here lies a generation that is much more privileged with its options- hence we have the choice to select from things that weren’t available years ago.

Multipotentialites, therefore have the opportunity to combine all of their interests in a way that fends for them.

The future might be unpredictable- but that doesn’t mean we have to leave all of our skills and narrow it down to one.

Experimenting Is the Whole Game.

Not everyone comes out of the womb with a plan. Some of us scramble with choices, going from place to place, trying to figure out what suits us best. If we were stubborn with our choices, we would never know what could potentially be a better fit for us and our lifestyle. The past and the future will not only differ in time but also in the kind of opportunities. Emotional Intelligence and cognitive skills will be required for success in the professional world.

If you could salute the people who go on with their choices without a doubt, you would. But after all, the doubt is an incentive to reach for better opportunities. What makes us leave is what makes us grow.

Unlike the cliched advice that talks about ‘following your passion’ or ‘doing what we are best at’, maybe a better approach would be realizing that we’re going to be bored anyway.

As humans, boredom is a constant — we can get bored of anything. Research shows that boredom is beneficial to us. The struggles that we are willing to overcome are the struggles that are worth it. Hence, when we break through phases of boredom, the skillset required to go through adversity and challenges will be formed.

Final Thoughts

You found something much more resourceful to you. You would be challenged to think for yourself. Your fear was an incentive to search and explore the potential. These days, there isn’t any formula for a successful career. That’s what makes it all the more interesting.

Upgrading your skills, instead- is the right thing to do at an age where everything seems cloudy and distant. With the plethora of options, the dilemma of right and wrong shouldn’t be a problem anymore.



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