Every student will tell you that the worst part of university is the group work. But, in my time as a communications and media student, I have found that I dislike reflective tasks in near equal measure. They have always seemed so empty and pointless. A checkbox item, tacked onto the end of an assignment, existing purely for lecturers to tick off and say “yes, I’ve critically engaged the student” or “yes, I’ve made sure the student is accountable for their work.”
Studying BCM313 has enlightened me as to more productive and interesting ways to use personal reflection. Instead of merely learning about the future of work, this subject has taught me how to probe deep within myself—my memories, my values, and my hopes. It has encouraged me to take interest in the stories and experiences of others, so that I may draw out lessons that are applicable to my own life.
These reflective practices, facilitated by narrative work, are no shallow feat.
From this subject I have learnt how to take ownership of my career identity. To understand what I want to do with my professional life and how to actively pursue it in a way that fosters my values and considers my preferences.
The most memorable part of a narrative interview I conducted with social media specialist Jasmyn Connell, was a lesson she uncovered through the progression of her own career. Since then, I have reminded myself a number of times that I am not my work. My value isn’t derived from the quality of my work. And, I am not a lesser person in that face of my professional shortfalls.
I was also surprised to discover that the future of work is not as bleak as I had first thought. I often find it challenging to avoid getting caught up in the doom and gloom of the political, social and environmental failings of the Australian government. I have always thought that these shortcomings would spell disaster for my future-self. But, an examination of Industry 4.0 has shown me that the possibility for a good, prosperous future does exist.
Finally, I have learnt that nobody has a perfect career story. I’ve always been afraid of failure, which has often held me back. After hearing so many different career stories from individuals of all walks of life, I feel renewed with the confidence to put myself “out there” more. A lesson from my first year classes that I am reminded of in this moment is that learning requires one to be bold enough to “fail early and fail often.”
I’d like to conclude by thanking my tutor, Giverny Witheridge, for always engaging my peers and I with thought-provoking and often challenging questions. It was a pleasure to be a part of Giverny’s class as she created a positive, welcoming and encouraging environment.
I’d also like to extend my thanks to the effervescent and ever-understanding Kate Bowles, subject coordinator and lecturer for BCM313. It was truly a joy to participate in this subject.
With only two classes remaining in my degree, here’s to what I expect will be my final blog post.