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Mar 22, 2017 10:19 AM EDT

Career planning or thinking about what one would do 10 years from is a deeply unhealthy way to think said Mike O'Connor, director of career discovery and the education career community at Williams College. O'Connor said that it is neither important nor realistic to have a five or ten year plan and that having once can do more harm than good.

According to data from the US Department of Labor, an average person holds 10 jobs before the age of 40. The 10-year career planning is a thing of the past with today's business climate of corporate restructuring, outsourcing, and rapidly advancing automation.

Training one's self to spot opportunities, thinking creatively and strategically growing network will do more for one's career compared to a 10-year career planning. O'Connor pointed out to break the mindset of obsessing over the future and to mindset and pay attention to the present moment to avoid unnecessary emotional turbulence.

He stressed that the most important thing for a young person to do is develop the ability to think creatively and spot potential opportunities before they arise. Knowing when to leap on an opening helps hone awareness of the present. A mindfulness practice can be incorporated to daily routine or any practice that prioritized focus can increase present state awareness.

Quartz reported that Jennifer Earls, an expert in the intersections of career counseling and mindfulness, said mindfulness exercises will allow one step outside the rational mind and examine what one really wants. In a book called Choose Yourself, James Altucher suggests building the idea muscle by writing down 10 new ideas a day. The more one is able to come up with good ideas on the spot, the more valuable one becomes in every situation. It would help shape a career to fit one's specific strengths and interests.

After getting the idea muscle in shape search for potential organizations that align with strengths and interests. Make a list of best ideas and send it to seniors. If able to make a connection with even one out of six professionals, find a mentor in a target industry to position for the next step.

Follows Career Planning, Mike O'Connor, Williams College, US Department of Labor, spot opportunities, 10-year career planning, emotional turbulence, mindfulness, Jennifer Earls, Choose Yourself, James Altucher, idea muscle
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