I’m pretty certain that the final project for my Information Management and Career Development concentration will be a career planning project.

One of the reasons I built my own education was so that I could use it to research various career paths and then engineer my postgraduate portfolio to position me onto my ideal career path.

Two seminal guides for career planning in the today’s VUCA world

I suspect that the final project will be titled Career Brand Planning or Designing My Career Brand.

It will include the word ‘brand’ because an individual’s personal brand – which embodies their personal values, behaviours, attitudes, online presence and how others speak of them – is an essential component of career planning in the twenty-first century.

There’s a reason why my MTA has a concentration in Marketing and Brand Management

We will be increasingly marketing ourselves and our skillsets to more and more short-term job assignments that will assess our worth based upon the story our personal brands tell.

Those safe-and-secure-until-you-retire career paths of the twentieth century are fast becoming a thing of the past.

We can no longer rely on the tried, tested and trusted formula for work: hard work + loyalty = promotion (and then repeat until retirement).

2020:131, Helen Tupper & Sarah Ellis, The Squiggly Career

I built my own education to take full charge of my own life and be able to continuously create new opportunities within it.

Even before I started creating my own master’s degree, I was aware that we are living in a VUCA world – a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

That’s why, when I did settle on creating my master’s degree, I knew I was going to create one that focused on different concentrations.

Areas of competency that were all applicable to the varied personal and professional demands of the twenty first century.

I didn’t want to become a master of everything with my MTA; rather, I wanted to become a master of flexibility.

We are moving towards a world where multiple transitions will become the norm, requiring us to be flexible, acquire new knowledge and explore different ways of thinking.

2020:131, Helen Tupper & Sarah Ellis, The Squiggly

A key part of that flexibility with my career brand planning has been exploring various future possibilities and then prototyping potential career paths.

Prototyping from Designing Your Life

Researching them, studying them and enrolling myself in then enrolling myself in them for a short period to try them on for size.

Prototyping the life design way is all about asking good questions, outing our hidden biases and assumptions, iterating rapidly, and creating momentum for a path we’d like to try out.

2016:97, Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, Designing Your Life

Two key examples of this career design prototyping are the life coaching business I created and the role of a manager I undertook for one of the part time jobs I worked while building my MTA.

Both positions allowed me to try on two career roles I had already researched and studied until I ultimately decided that the role of a manager and life coach just wasn’t for me.

Utilizing this prototyping approach enables me to narrow down my thinking regarding my ideal career path by eliminating dead end options. 

When designing your work life, you need to know that designers don’t think their way forward. Work designers build their way forward.

2020:9-10, Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, Designing Your Work Life

I have been working on my career planning project ever since I graduated from my bachelor’s degree, so my Career Brand project won’t be a completely new undertaking, rather it will collect together all the work I’ve already put into building my career brand over.

Some of what will be included in my Career Brand Planning project

That prior work also includes the other final projects of my MTA Portfolio that I have completed and/or are yet to completed.

Ultimately, I want my Career Brand Planning project to show how all the pieces fit together, my reasoning for settling on my particular career brand design and then set me forth on my ideal career path utilising my career brand.