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Serendipity presentationnov2012 gina.a

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  • 1. EMBRACINGSERENDIPITY…Allowing Chance to Move YouTowards Professional SuccessPresented by Gina AlexandrisLeading Ladies (Toronto)November 14, 2012© Gina Alexandris (photo credits)
  • 2. Sometimes when we walk along a familiar road...
  • 3. …we fail to notice other paths that we have not yet explored.
  • 4. “If we do not change our direction…”
  • 5. “…we are likely to end up where we are headed”. Chinese proverb
  • 6. From now on when you notice these paths…take the chance…and seethe new wonders that open up for you!
  • 7. Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasantsurprise"; specifically, the accident of findingsomething good or useful while not specificallysearching for it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serendipity Serendipity is the “faculty of making fortunatediscoveries by accident”. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/serendip/about.html
  • 8. In a letter dated January 28, 1754, WalpoleWho do we thank for this described a discovery relating to a portrait as:wonderful word? “…almost of that kind which I call serendipity, a very expressive word, which as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavour to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of… now do you understand serendipity?"Horace Walpole (1717-97), fourth Earl ofOrford, son of Prime Minister RobertWalpole, connoisseur, antiquarian andauthor of the famous gothic novel, The http://livingheritage.org/three_princes.htm#Castle of Otranto (London, 1765).
  • 9. But are such “happy accidents”entirely… accidental?
  • 10. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) “…chance only favoursThe inventor of the process of pasteurization the mind which is prepared…” 1854, as Dean of Faculty of Sciences at Lille, speaking of a physicist and the almosthttp://www.pasteurbrewing.com/articles/life-of-pasteur/louis-pasteur-chance-favors-prepared-mind/173.html and "accidental" way in which he discovered the basichttp://www.biography.com/people/louis-pasteur-9434402 principles of electro-magnetism
  • 11. • Vacation, travels and adventures…• Scientific discoveries…• But what does this have to do with our careers and professional lives?
  • 12. The Prepared Mind of a Leader : Eight Skills Leaders Use to Innovate, Make Decisions, and Solve Problems Bill Welter and Jean EgmonFor flexibility, innovation and change, apply these skills: • Observing • Reasoning • Imagining • Challenging • Deciding • Learning • Enabling • Reflecting
  • 13. And don’t forget about… serendipity…an actual career theory!
  • 14. John D. Krumboltz: The Happenstance Learning Theory“The Happenstance Learning Theory (HLT) is anattempt to explain how and why individuals followtheir different paths through life…In a nutshell, theHLT posits that human behavior is the product ofcountless numbers of learning experiences madeavailable by both planned and unplanned situationsin which individuals find themselves”. Krumboltz, J.D. (2009). The happenstance learning theory. Journal of Career Assessment, 17(2), 135-154.
  • 15. Krumboltz :“learn to engage in exploratory actions as a way of generating beneficial unplanned events.” “learn to reframe unplanned events into career opportunities.”
  • 16. John D. Krumboltz: The Happenstance Learning Theory• Think about a chance event you wish would happen to you.• What can you do now to increase the likelihood of that desirable event?• How would your life change if you acted?
  • 17. To move towards professional success:• Spend time on self-reflection• Be curious, ask questions• Learn about things and people that interest you• Be prepared to act on an opportunity that suddenly presents itself• Take chances and do not fear making mistakes• Stay open to new ideas
  • 18. Thank you…have an amazing day……and embrace serendipity! Gina Alexandrisgina.alexandris@utoronto.ca gina.alexandris9@gmail.com

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