Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Noun Form of the Word "CAREER" is Dead

In the private practice of a career counselor, one becomes almost numb to the deep and brutal pain of job loss.  I can vouch for the countless times of watching grown adults sob in a wrenching childlike manner that rips my heart in pieces.

The reason?

Their career and livelihood was suddenly, unexpectedly and even unfairly halted by the loss of a job title, identity and purpose.

For many, experiencing the trauma of being fired or terminated, is a day-to-day loss of a daily routine that once formed a mirage of job security. Many people expect and look forward to work on a daily basis until Friday arrives and the weekend for decompression begins.

For some, work pays the bills and puts food on the table. For most, work provides a sense of accomplishment and purpose.  Even a strong sense of identity.

For workers hurled into this unanticipated crisis of job loss, the harsh reality of grief can plunge them quickly into despair.

In order to navigate the turbulence of our work lives, we have to acknowledge the shift of one important word. The word, "career".

Each of us must recognize the noun form of "career" is dead.

It is not a person you've become solely by career accomplishments or a place that you go to each day to prove your value.

It is not a thing to drive you up a ladder or recognize your accomplishments and dreams.

No one in the high school arena is preparing our students or tomorrow's workforce for this reality.

Career is now a verb.  

As a verb, career now forms:

  • The actions we take
  • The state of being we choose
  • The response we have when workplace occurrences happen (with or without our consent)
We're the ones responsible for our stories of choices and consequences. It isn't the employer's responsibility to provide us with work.


How we discover meaning, purpose and contentment is not solely discovered in work.
This audacious reality is completely apparent when we are stripped of a job title, a daily routine and sense of purpose in the midst of job loss.

If we choose to no longer career our next work opportunity, we'll certainly careen off a path that provides momentum for the next challenge or project needing the skills we offer.

Having a new mindset about how we do our work is the greatest challenge of the 21st century workplace.

The person who loses their job is one who learns the greatest wisdom of all. They are our sages to learn from and glean the insights we need to not be lulled into thinking our jobs will be here tomorrow.

So, what does it look like to shift the word career into a verb?

Your comments are welcome.

We'll begin this discussion in the next post.


  1. Very nice post about Career counseling. It is clearly explain about career is noun or verb. Thanks for sharing this. Career Counseling in Chennai

  2. Thank you for sharing this useful information.keep on posting like this.
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