Lesson 5: Plan Your Career Adventure of a Lifetime

I have long felt, and taught students, that we do clients a disservice if we only “arm” them with tools that work as they leave our last session. Instead, we must “arm” them with the tools that we know from our expertise will help them for years to come if not over the course of their lifetime. One technique for uncentering their mindset towards their new skills from a today only mindset, is to help them project the usefulness of these tools into their positive future. This is what we will learn to do in Session 5… Plan their career adventure of a lifetime!

Is anybody out there? Have you made it to the fifth and final class session? If so, welcome to what I hope is the big payoff for this course.

The end of last class has me connected to my penchant for Playing for Change videos so let’s begin with one of my favorite ones. You will notice that captures the essence of how we want our clients to leave our care… prepared to find the resources and community that will stand by their career work forever. Watch the video.


The question before us is how would we make it likely that the tools we give our clients will travel forward with them throughout all of the transitions and chaos they will experience in their gig work lives? 

Much of this Surfing course is based on the fine work of Jim Bright and Robert Prior and their Chaos Theory of Careers. It is helpful to read this short primer on this approach before we begin.  Please read it here.

Our first clue of how to help clients plan for their career adventure of a lifetime is provided in this reading. Wandering maps are an excellent, non-linear/ emergent exercise to use with clients. Please read these wandering map instructions before we discuss more.

Now this one is a keeper!! I love processing wandering maps with clients… note how you the coach/counselor are the most important tool in making this exercise work for clients. You are the one who encourages non-linear and emergent thinking, helping them build these critical skills for future preparation, adaptation, and transitions.

Wandering maps do not work for everyone therefore I want to provide other options that uncenter working from the traditional employer model while re-centering it with the worker… your client.

Vision boarding is something that many of us have tried, often in my experience without a system of application that might enhance its effectiveness. There are a lot of books and articles out there on this technique, Jack Canfield is one person who is well-known for his vision board work AND has a tried and true system for working with others to help them develop their vision board. Watch the video below and take a look at his recommendations below:


**DISCLAIMER – this video promotes a specific coach and his products. This is being used for educational purposes and is NOT a promotion of him or his products.**

Understanding and Adaptation…

Non-linear and Emergent…

These are the key words I want to keep drilling into our minds as we think about working with clients in the 21st Century i.e., the Gig Economy.

Let’s take a look at one more approach to achieving these goals for the Surfing Model. I had the pleasure of visiting and doing some work at the d.school at Stanford University in 2015. The video below is from one of the co-creators of Design Thinking and the d.school talking about applying Design Thinking to the problem of designing your life using this non-linear and emergent approach. It is 25:20 long but is a great introduction to this approach. Watch it below.


**DISCLAIMER – this video promotes a specific coach and his products. This is being used for educational purposes and is NOT a promotion of him or his products.**

  Please take 3 minutes to write in your journal one last time. Quickly (like Design Thinking) write down three things you might do to change your career services practice now that you better understand and can adapt to the gig economy. Each should only be 1-2 sentences and written top-of-mind.

EXTRA: Take 3 more minutes and write your Wild Card Plan as described by Bill Burnett in the video above.

Now that you have finished journaling for this course, I do hope that it is something you might continue as your gig economy-oriented practice develops or at least refer to at points in the future when it might be helpful.

Let’s roll forward now towards closing up this lesson and the Surfing the Gig Economy course.  My final video will wrap up our work together and launch you into your work… helping clients learn to ride the waves of the gig economy with a sense of rejoicing in their hearts and minds.



When you have completed all the requirements of this section, answer items 16-17 on your worksheet, and mark the lesson complete before you move on to the final section.