Today's Update: Wednesday, July 22

July 22, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, Our Wednesday tour of the dimensions of wellness brings us to career wellness today. This is an especially top of mind concern for our students right now as COVID severely impacts the job market. They need all the support we can give them. 

One concept that might help in how they think about career is the “happenstance theory.” It stresses that students, and frankly anyone, approach their exploration not by concentrating on landing in one particular job or career, but being open to a wide variety of options.  

Student Life Career Counseling and Support Services frames it this way:  

  • Embracing indecision: It recognizes that when we make decisions, we won’t always know 100% where we are headed.  

  • Recognizing that the future is unpredictable and uncertain: The world will change, and we will change as well.  

  • Unexpected events offer opportunities: Resilience and adaptability are essential. 

  • Curiosity-driven: What will drive us forward will be the things we are naturally drawn to 

  • Risk Taking is important: In order to do so we have to step outside of our comfort zone. 

  • Acknowledging that there isn’t one perfect route that we can take but many potential routes that can lead us to fulfillment and happiness 

Helping students adopt this mindset challenges them to be open to the idea that many careers may fit them relatively equally, to focus mainly on the elements of career paths that they want, instead of one specific job. It leads them to take steps forward without knowing the exact finish line.  

It’s a good approach for students, and there are good lessons here for all of us. We’ve all been forced to acquire new skills and new perspectives in the age of COVID. We’ve had to embrace, or at least figure out, new technology, find new approaches to things we’ve done for years and come up with answers to questions we never thought possible.  

What skills have you developed out of necessity over the last three months that you had either pushed off learning or you never thought you could do?  I hope that you have discovered new skillsets that have you are excited to use to serve students in new ways.  

Professional growth isn’t just for students. There are many professional development opportunities available for employees through Ohio State. Check out the university’s Gateway to Learning website (, a one-stop shop of professional and career development resources including webinars, podcasts and skills-building articles. 

I hope you will explore and be open to learning new skills in areas you might not have considered. It’s a Scarlet and Great way to expand your horizons and invest in your own continuous growth.