Lesson 1: Intro to Surfing and Your Gig Plans

I have provided you with the “My Surfing Guide” document as a download for this course. Please download 2 copies; make one for you to use throughout the five lessons and one for you to use with clients in your career practice.  It is best for you to complete your own as we go along.

Mindset, and more specifically attentional focus, is something that I think matters greatly in our work. As 21st Century career practitioners, we need to be centered in our minds about how our work effects clients as the interreact with the most complex and dynamic world in human history. The reality is that most of what we learned in our training programs was developed for a much different system of work. Ethically, we must question our practices to ensure we are best serving our clients.

Please read the following article  written from a Canadian perspective. I chose this piece because it succinctly outlines the legal and ethical dilemmas clients face while working or considering working in the gig economy.

My hope is that you are already thinking about your career services practice and how you know your approach is best helping clients adapt to work in our current age.

Throughout this course I would like for you keep a journal of some kind. There will be stopping points along the way where you will be prompted to pause, reflect, and collect your thoughts. This journal is just for you so it might be an existing journal you already have, a Word document on your computer, or a sketch pad where you can doodle away with your thoughts. The important thing is that it fits you!

For your first journaling assignment, I want you to journal after viewing the following 5 minute video of surfers in action. While watching I want you to note your emotional and cognitive responses as suffers ride the waves and wipe out while attempting to do so. Much like the new world-of-work, some watchers might feel exhilarated while viewing surfers in action; others might be frightened; still others may feel anxious. As the video ends, think about a client who would have the OPPOSITE emotional response to the new world-of-work from the one you have. Now answer the prompts found to the left of the video below.

On your blank page, you might make three sections titled:
My emotional and cognitive responses to surfing.
My emotional and cognitive responses to the 21st Century world of work.
A client who is different than me.
Of course, you may abbreviate your sections.


Note your emotional and cognitive responses as you watch them try to ride the wave and then wipe out. After a couple of minutes, shift your attention to the current complex and dynamic world of work.

Now, I would like to guide you through the first dialogue for the course. I use the term dialogue versus lecture or presentation because I hope to engage you in a dynamic process of personal exploration and learning. We will see if this works as you watch the videos. 

As a reminder, please have a writing utensil and paper (at least one blank) with you before you begin.


There are many different perspectives on the gig economy in the international media. Please view this one which is an excellent summary to get us started.


You can really empathize with client distress as they think about engaging with this new world-of-work. In the final video in Lesson 1 we will begin to look at the Surfing the Gig Economy Model and how you can use it as a practical tool when working with clients. Please view it below.


When you have completed all the requirements of this section, mark the section complete and move on to the next lesson.