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High Five! A Winning Approach to Work and Life

Just starting out on your career journey? Making a change midway? Use the five messages in this tip to find the work you love, and the life you want.

The High Five messages were created by Canadian career development specialists as a guide for managing the many changes in life and work that most people experience. Based on the concept that your education, work and life path is not a straight line from A to B, but a work in progress, the High Five messages are signposts to guide you on the ongoing journey.

Here are the High Five!

Change is constant
Change is happening faster than ever before. Information, globalization and communication technology, from smart phones to social networking, are shrinking the world and altering how we work. Managing change—being flexible and staying open to opportunity—has become a vital skill. What’s the best way to manage change? Know yourself and stay learning.

Follow your heart
It’s important to work at something that makes you feel happy and productive. As things around you change, the anchor holding you on course is knowing and believing in yourself—your values, interests and dreams. Your vision for the future gives you the energy to go after what you want. That vision may change over time, but if you stay in touch with yourself, you’ll be able to see where you want to go.

Stay learning
Learning is life-long, takes many forms and happens in all kinds of environments. An essential tool for managing change, learning lets you keep up with new developments in your field and in the culture. School, or formal learning, is one part of the learning journey. Informal learning—about yourself, life and opportunity—happens all the time. You’ll keep learning if you stay open to people and experiences.

Focus on the journey
Every step shapes the next step in the journey. Goals are important, but focusing too much energy on a far-off destination can keep you from adapting to the changes and challenges that are happening right now. If you can see the day-to-day detours in life as a chance to check out different directions, you’ll benefit from all your experiences. You may discover opportunities you would have missed otherwise.

Be an ally
Stay connected with people, both on- and offline. Make new contacts. Learn through talking with others. Family, friends, co-workers, teachers—many people you know are on the career journey and are willing to share ideas, skills and resources. Sometimes you’ll ask for assistance and sometimes you’ll provide it. Either way, being an ally is an appropriate and enriching way to relate to people in your network and community.

The High Five messages describe a way of looking at work and life that reminds you to base every decision you make on your self-knowledge and values. Offering you a foundation for living effectively in the here and now, this approach also encourages you to create the future you want.

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