When you think about the stages in your life, a rather simple fact emerges about connection. Children are pushed into connections via organized events like school and sports or other social activities. Adults are similarly pushed into connections via career.
How does career work as a social structure? Very simple. It provides a focus for individuals to decide which groups they aspire to join. If one is “on the way up”, he or she will connect with others who sympathize and can help and have similar ambitions. Moreover, the institutional framework creates a natural topic of conversation as well as a shared vocabulary.
But this is not the fact that I was thinking about. I was thinking about what happens to one’s connections after their career is over? Or if they step out of a career path? What happens then?
The answer is simple. They will have a weaker institutional framework that pushes them toward connection. They will have to fend for themselves more. Or, putting it another way, they will have to learn how to build ecologies.
How does that work? We will be discussing this in our post career planning course in July. I will be posting about it here as I get ready for the course. Stay tuned!