One day a caterpillar met an inquisitive bug. The bug, who’d never seen a caterpillar before, asked ‘What sort of creature are you? What special powers do you have?’
The caterpillar reflected and said ‘Well, I’m good at crawling and I can eat a lot of leaves.’ This particular caterpillar was only thinking about its recent experience – what do I usually do? What have I done previously?
But we know that a caterpillar is capable of much, much more than just munching leaves.
We know that a caterpillar has the capacity to become a beautiful, gracious butterfly one day. Encoded in its DNA is the ability to metamorphose into something new and wonderful.
So don’t get too hung up on who or what you are today. This is just your most recent incarnation. Do spend time thinking about what can you become in the future. If I can do it – from a PhD in Medieval Studies to a project manager in banking – you can do it!
Designing Your Life: Build the Perfect Career, Step by Step
By Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (Vintage, 2017)
One of my private clients recommended this book to me and it doesn’t disappoint. The authors have impeccable credentials, having taught the Life Design course at Stanford University for many years. The premise of the book is that you can apply the same principles to designing your life, as you can to designing new consumer products. How does that work?
Well, the authors explain that designers don’t just have a flash of inspiration and then design the finished article. They build prototypes, test them out with customers, tweak them, over and over again until they get it right. It’s an iterative process that requires patience and a degree of trust in a journey of discovery. And you can do the same when designing your own career. Continue reading “Book Review – Designing Your Life”
Question: What jobs does a PhD qualify you for? We know it’s a prerequisite for working as a teacher or researcher in a university department, but what else? Continue reading “What jobs does a PhD qualify me for?”