Every time a Canadian moves south of the border to realize a dream because he or she couldn’t find someone here who believed in him or her, we’re diminished. A little bit of our potential, a little bit of our pride, a little bit of our future and a little bit of us slips out of our grasp. That’s not what the immigrants who came here expected when they sacrificed so that they and their children could build a life as Canadians that they couldn’t build in the old country. Those immigrants were our grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and mothers.
These are tough times. Great downsizings were topical a dozen years ago. They’ve given way to lesser downsizings and restructuring. Both are still very much with us. Rows of vacant desks are still a feature of buildings with exteriors that show no sign of what happened inside. Learning why those downsizings took place will help you avoid them in the future.
I’ve seen 2000 desks and workstations that used to be occupied by 2000 people, each of whom I met personally minutes after they discovered that they no longer figured in their employers’ plans. This chapter of Canadian history is recent enough that most working people and those aspiring to be working people must be aware of it. Our post-secondary-education-bound young people and those holding undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and little else know almost nothing about it. They still believe that they’re entitled to find work in their chosen field. There are no entitlements.
If we’ve learned anything from this period, it’s that the good life is not a right guaranteed under the British North America Act and the Constitution. An ounce of prevention will always be worth a pound of cure. That’s another way of describing personal due diligence
Technologically, intellectually, creatively and socially, Canadians don’t have to take a back seat to anyone. You have options but you have to know where to find them. There are entrepreneurs and visionaries who are looking to you to help bring their dreams to fruition so that we all benefit. You will have to become aware of them.
The only way we can take from Canada is to give something to Canada because no one else is going to give it to us. If you can’t find work in your chosen field, you may have to choose another field. That’s one of the reasons Personal Due Diligence is here.
In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said: “… Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” High levels of youth unemployment suggest Canada is at risk of losing one generation if not more. We’re dependent on one another, and not only in times of high water or fire or blizzards. But we have to become aware of each other. It’s what a country is. If we’re going to be one, we have to act like one.
Robert Kennedy said: “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” He also said: “All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”
Before you start reading, we’d like you to click on this link to Scientific American’s article entitled Critical Thinking Is Best Taught Outside the Classroom. Please read it and the comments that appear immediately below it. We’ll wait for you.
Most articles and television documentaries about unemployment and underemployment among holders of university degrees, the articles and documentaries that started appearing at the beginning of 2013, could be counted on to point fingers at governments and the educational establishment—the upper end of that establishment in particular—for failing to satisfy the needs of industry. Much of the finger pointing around that disconnect was warranted, but the fingers were pointing in the wrong direction.
Finding out what intellectual, academic and technological tools are required for the work you plan to do after graduation is your responsibility. Unless you’d rather wait for the next edition of the National Occupational Classification which will be 5 years out of date when it rolls off the presses in 2016. The 2011 edition was also 5 years out of date. The onus is also on you to keep your tools current. If your educational institution of choice can’t deliver them, you may have to shop for one that can. It’s up to you determine whether the work you want to do needs to be done. If not, your Plan A may have to give way to a Plan B that’s more in line with the needs of the market.
That’s a lot of “responsibility” in one paragraph, but those are the cards you’ve been dealt. Not to worry. That’s where Personal Due Diligence (PDD) comes in.
Universities, community colleges and trade schools are businesses. You are the customer. They’ll continue producing what they’ve always produced as long as their customers are prepared to pay for it. What their customers demand will be a function of what prospective employers will demand. Education can’t be returned for a refund, even if you do have all of the receipts. Nor can the time it took to acquire it.
What you just read is a sample of the critical thinking that isn’t being taught in enough of the traditional places. PDD will teach and help you apply it in real time as a means of identifying meaningful work in the real world. The mood of the market has changed. The cost of post-secondary education continues to rise along with student loan debt. You can’t transform a nuclear physicist into a nutritionist through re-programming, at least not yet.
PDD wants you to plan to commit the time to think through what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it so that you can build a business case that supports your Plan A, or one that says it’s time to build a more attainable Plan B. In someone else’s employ, or in your own.
Take the time now to find out about us and how we think by visiting each of the pages on our site. Click on their titles near the top of your screen, read the posts, then drop us a line or call. This is an investmentment in your hopes, your dreams and the rest of your life.