In an earlier blog post, we discussed John Krumboltz’s Happenstance Learning Theory and we offered four powerful questions for you to ponder. Questions aimed at individuals who feel stuck and need some help moving forward with their career goals. If you haven’t read that post yet, then take a look here.
Krumboltz recognized that career paths are often formulated through a mix of small decisions, big decisions, and happenstance or luck. He didn’t believe that people should make one plan and stick to it. Especially, if that meant staying in an unsatisfactory occupation just because it was declared to be your goal at one point in time.
According to Krumboltz in the Journal of Career Assessment:
“In a nutshell, the HLT posits that human behavior is the product of countless numbers of learning experiences made available by both planned and unplanned situations in which individuals find themselves. The learning outcomes include skills, interests, knowledge, beliefs, preferences, sensitivities, emotions, and future actions.
The situations in which individuals find themselves are partly a function of factors over which they have no control and partly a function of actions that the individuals have initiated themselves.”
He encouraged individuals to initiate and engage in exploratory actions as a way of creating happenstance – these unplanned yet often beneficial events which can dictate our lives. People often get stuck in doing this, so he created questions aimed at overcoming blocks to action.
Here are four more powerful questions for you to consider:
- What do you believe is stopping you from doing what you really want to do?
- What do you believe is a first step you could take now to move closer to what you want?
- What do you believe is stopping you from taking that first step?
- How would your life become more satisfying if you were to take appropriate action?
If you are a fellow in training at the NIH and would like to have more help to support your progress, we invite you to make an appointment with an OITE career counselor.