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Preparing for Life vs Preparing for a Job

Madison Gipson

Change of mind. Change of heart. Course correction. No matter what you call it, there are moments in your life when a shift is needed.

Most people are comfortable with this idea of change. At least when it comes to what you have for lunch. But mention a larger change and people start to become uncomfortable. It might be a fear of the unknown or the feeling you might be making a mistake.

When the discussion is having a salad for lunch when you normally have a sandwich, this might not be a big deal. However, when you decide to change your career plans, it can be traumatic. Yet there are reasons to change your career plans.

Multiple Careers?

There is a popularly held idea that people will change careers seven times in their lifetime. Some even say it’s as high as fifteen!1 While research shows that to be a myth2, and difficult to track, people do change jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people born from 1957 to 1964 held 11 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48.3

Why do people change their career? In a survey done by LinkedIn, it’s not about who you work with, what you’re doing, or even how much you get paid. It is about career advancement.4

In the last century, it was common for people to work a job for decades and then retire to do what they wanted. Now the average tenure for an American at their job is less than four and half years.5 Even more extreme, 91% of millennials expect to switch jobs in less than three years.6

It might not be a bad decision either. Bob Goff, writing for the Barna Group, has held multiple ‘careers’ throughout his lifetime. Rather than identifying himself by any one of them, he notes, “I’ve come to think of my careers as a part of my legacy, but certainly not all of it.”7

If multi-careering is going to be the norm, then colleges will need to be equipped to do more than just prepare students for a single job.

A Change Before You Begin

But then we hear a story of career change even before the career has begun. Meet Madison Gipson, planning on starting her time at Grace College this fall. She has been planning on coming to Grace for a while to study Visual Communication. Then those plans changed.

Her twin sister, Megan Gipson, has been planning on a career serving people with special needs. Megan has served many years at Camp Millhouse, a non-profit residential summer camp for children and adults with varying disabilities.

Both Madison and Megan have worked with people with special needs for many years. Since an early age, they have worked at a church event called Jireh, where they began making connections and learning to love unconditionally. Finding Camp Millhouse simply made that a forever choice.

In fact, serving this summer is what helped Madison know it was time for a change, even before her career journey had officially begun. Graduating from Edwardsburg High School earlier this summer, it seemed her plans were set. But one week at camp has changed all that. Now Madison and Megan will both major in the Special Education program.

Change is something with which the sisters are seemingly comfortable. Initially planning on attending different colleges, Megan knows that one campus visit changed her mind. “It was the atmosphere. I loved it!”

Change is the Constant

It’s a change of mind. Perhaps a change of heart. You can call it a course correction if you want, but Madison and Megan, attending Grace College this fall, know what they want to do with their lives.

Your need for a change may be coming halfway through college, or halfway through a lifetime of careering. No matter the timing, Grace College can help you. Whether you are needing to begin your undergraduate program or returning for online courses, Grace is the place where you can be prepared.

It’s not just career preparation. It’s being ready for all the changes that come in this life.




      1. Retrieved from
      2. Young, Jeffrey R. (2017, July 20) How Many Times Will People Change Jobs? The Myth of the Endlessly-Job-Hopping Millennial. Retrieved from
      3. Retrieved from
      4. Schnidman, Allison (2015, August 5) New Research Reveals the Real Reason People Switch Jobs (and it isn’t Money or Their Boss) Retrieved from
      5. Retrieved from
      6. Meister, Jeanne (2012, August 14) The Future of Work: Job Hopping is the ‘New Normal’ for Millennials. Retrieved from
      7. Goff, Bob (2013) Multi-Careering, Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Tagged With: 2018 Archives, Campus Life, Career Preparation, Degrees, Education, Majors, School of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Service

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