(High profile cases of people whose career and/or career aspirations unexpectedly ended)
Career changers, adult students, college drop outs, students who are denied admissions to preferred pre-professional programs, professional athletes, actors, performers, entrepreneurs. New employees who don’t pass their probationary period because they don’t fit the organizational culture of their employers, etc.
Christopher Dorner was a young African American man who had a dream of becoming a police officer. According to the standard advice career counselors often give to young college students, this man did everything he needed to do to achieve his dream and succeed. He was eventually hired by and passed, the Los Angeles Police Department’s police academy. However, before he was able to finish his probationary period on the job, he experienced several situations that caused serious personal values conflicts with his employer and how they do things. After considering a particular situation which he found personally objectionable, he filed a personal complaint against his training supervisor. LAPD determined his allegations were unfounded and fired him for filing a false report. He appealed his case through several legal options, but after four years of unemployment, isolation, and the opportunity to continuously stress and ruminate over what happened, he eventually came to the conclusion: “My career is over, therefore my life is over.” Unfortunately he was so filled with anger over perceived injustices, that he eventually came to the conclusion that the solution to ‘getting his reputation back’ was to wage a violent war against the Los Angeles Police Department. This ‘war’ made national headlines for over a week. By the time it was over, he had murdered two civilians, two police officers, and eventually took his own life in a fiery gun battle with local law enforcement.
How differently could things have turned out if he had received appropriate intervention earlier in his career when his challenges began to manifest? Unfortunately we will never know whether or not the premature death of those five lives could have prevented.
Having so many people start off on the path to career aspirations, only to not finish is becoming an increasing problem in higher education. Therefore many colleges, universities, and systems are starting to recognize the need to redesign how they offer their degree, certificate and training programs and how they market to their potential students. See video: “Success in the new Economy” to see this explained in more detail.