Tuesday, July 20, 2004

ACVE Research and Lifestylism

You might not expect to find much of interest in the Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, but I found some great stuff in their research digests that relate to my emerging sense of lifestylism. These are mostly focused on work and how people fit their careers into the rest of their lives. The beauty of these digests is that they summarize and synthesize, then include links and resources for further digging.

The Balancing Act of Adult Life
This idea pops into my head every time I see the phrase "work-life" balance. I could try to explain my objections to the phrase, but this quote does a better job:
"'Balance' of life roles may be an illusive pursuit and defining what it means is highly individual. Secretan asserts that it isn’t balance that we need, but integration. Balance implies either/or, that investing in one role requires taking something away from another. 'Creative people use their brains and deploy their gifts whenever and wherever they feel the urge….Balancing is what we do to our checkbooks; integration is the happy confluence and merging of all of the activities in our lives'."
Changing Career Patterns gives a few nice examples of people unjobbing, mostly leaving big companies to start entrepreneurial ventures for lifestyle reasons and ambition. It's closely related to this article on Career Mobility talking about how "boredom, mismatched values, and conflicts with other life roles can create personal unrest and trigger job movement--upward, downward, lateral, and outward."

Career Development for Meaningful Life Work
I like this concept of aligning work with your "core self", and I like it even more when matched up beside the idea of possible selves.
"Achieving meaningful life work is a process that involves aligning one's work with one's true essence or core self. It is an ongoing process that involves self-reflection to discover the deep passions within and then exploring how to bring those passions or interests to bear in meaningful ways in work."
Career Development of Free Agent Workers
I've included this link as a reminder to myself that not everyone is going to become a "free agent" and start creating their own consulting and contracting companies, even if they acknowledge that it might be great to enjoy the freedom and control.
"For the most part, free agent workers are well educated and possess high levels of skills that are in demand; they have chosen a free agent lifestyle because it frees them from organizational politics, provides them opportunities to learn, gives them more control of their time, and provides 30% to 200% more income than their counterparts in traditional jobs earn."

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