TAYLOR Your Life: Changemaking Career Development Program Launches at Taylor

Taylor Your Life

“Everything that makes our daily living easier, more productive, more enjoyable, and more pleasurable was created because of a problem, and because some designer or team of designers somewhere out there in the world sought to solve that problem…Designers imagine things that don’t yet exist, and then they build them, and the world changes. You can do this in your own life. You can imagine a career and a life that don’t exist; you can build that future around you, and as a result, your life will change” (Burnett & Evans, 2016).

At Taylor, we tackle “wicked” problems that are complex and challenging, ranging from climate change to poverty, systemic racism, and educational inequity. Yet every single one of us are also tackling the “wicked” problem of figuring out how to live, work, play, and love in the best, most efficient and life-giving way possible.

This Fall, Taylor is launching a five-week career development program for a group of students to TAYLOR their life trajectory, inspired by the “Design Your Life” class and recent book released by Stanford Professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, which teaches students to apply design thinking principles to their own life.

Participants will ideate multiple life paths, clarify their interests, focus and target their search, prototype and test elements of careers that interest them, learn how to market and brand themselves to stand out from the crowd, and map their community to effectively network with other changemakers around the world.

27% of college graduates end up in a job that is different from their major and nearly two thirds of workers in the US are unhappy in their work. With these unnerving statistics looming in our national consciousness, it is crucial for students to explore and break in to socially conscious career pathways that both inspire them and do good for the world.

Our life is a continuously unfolding experience, not a final destination that you map out, plan, execute and then “achieve” at a certain age.  The same way a human-centered designer would reframe a problem for a client, “what do you want to be when you grow up?,” becomes “who or what do you want to grow into?”, which unlocks a vast array of potential life pathways and helps students intelligently choose how to move forward,

Remarkably, 80% of people do not have one “thing” that they are passionate about and researchers have found that passion often develops after an experience and testing something out, not before. At Taylor, we have a bias to action. We test things out. We prototype. We find out what works and what isn’t working. We learn from our failures, as failures are the raw material of success that help us understand what is not working and how we can move forward in a different way. Instead of sending out hundreds of resumes to jobs that students don’t even really understand, participants will learn how to build prototypes to explore questions about different life alternatives, testing the waters and gathering crucial data, in the real world, to better design their life.

In the age of the internet, students have a vastly interconnected world at their fingertips, but many do not know how to effectively connect and network, believing that they need to figure out their life completely on their own. Yet, a well-designed and lived life is one that is co-created in collaboration with others; participants in the program will learn how to engage others in their life-design and build a team of contributors, supporters, mentors, and champions.

By invoking curiosity, ideating multiple possibilities, prototyping and testing different pathways, and remaining centered on human relationships and communities, participants will engage in a series of interactive, dynamic activities and learn how to design a life that makes a positive difference in the world and is “TAYLORed” to their unique life and personality.

If you are interested in joining the 5-week program (open to undergraduate and graduate students), email Julia Lang by October 10th.