Learning, Naturally

So much well-founded criticism of our education system has been levelled in various places and by various well- and lesser-known persons that we can confidently take this societal self-diagnosis seriously, despite all caution about fake news. And yet it seems to me that only a minority does, although nothing less than our future is at stake. Nothing new, you may say. Learning is something that simply goes without saying after all.  Of course learning is part of life. Of course we learn throughout our lives. Of course the education system should make our children fit for life. Learning is in our nature after all, isn’t it?

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Watershed moment or do we just carry on regardless like lemmings?

In the current climate (sic) of doom and gloom I have been struck by the special nature of our predicament. I am among the first to groan inwardly if I hear that clichée “The Chinese word for problem is the same as for challenge.” Actually, my research revealed that the Chinese word 问题 “wenti” is usually translated as problem or question. But then I always assumed it was another of those urban myths, like the Inuit having 357 different words for snow. But I digress…

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The value of work

A few days ago, I received an email from LinkedIn inviting me to participate in a survey. The title of the mail said: Beate, what do you find valuable about your work? – “Good question!” – I thought to myself. I hadn’t thought about that for a long time. Yet this is certainly one of the central questions when it comes to what activities and in what functions someone feels “in the right place” – and in which they do not.

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Shaping the career exit

This is another contribution by our guest author Christoph Henties, who is no stranger to loyal readers of the harlekin.blog. Thank you, Christoph!

Planning the next step

The End is My Beginning is the title of the autobiographical Spiegel bestseller by Tiziano Terzani. The book is a hymn to the possibility of being what you want to be. The journalist and writer begins a wonderful conversation about the venture of freedom, about courage, love, sickness and grief, about transience, moments of beauty and how you can learn to let go.

A fresh start at work is not easy. Replacing well-known structures and organisations with familiar people with something new and developing curiosity for the unfamiliar is a challenge. Anyone who has changed jobs more often will find it easier.

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Eyes wide open when choosing a profession!

Vocational Helpsheet from the Federal Job Center: Civil servant at federal institutions  (senior and executive, non-technical grades) 

Do you still remember the “Vocational Helpsheet”?  These brown and white booklets from the Federal Job Centre were THE source of information on “what I want to be when I grow up” – at least at the time when I was tackling this question. A profession was presented in detail in each booklet and the fact that ultimately there were “only” about 700 titles to choose from makes it clear how challenging the choice was.

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About company takeovers – and those taken over

Part 2: The integration phase

During the integration phase in the first months after a company takeover, the new employees can expect to experience all levels of emotion, from absolute nightmare to permanent elation. Much depends, of course, on how satisfied you were with the “old” company. If you have been complaining about decision-making inertia or even inability there for years, you may be pleased with the dynamism you encounter in the new company.

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The unromantic start of a relationship

About company takeovers – and those taken over (Part 1)

According to Manager Magazin, more than 2000 German companies were acquired in 2021 – despite Corona.(1)  This not only involves huge financial transactions, but also employees who suddenly have a new employer on “D-Day”. And – in contrast to changing companies by applying for a job – they did not choose it themselves.

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Plato had it, Einstein had it, I still have it…

What might we be talking about here? Perhaps you have already guessed. Yes, it’s the brain. That wrinkly grey mass of just about 3 lbs. Just imagine: if mine were lying next to those of Plato and Einstein, no one would be able to correctly identify them. In terms of our basic biological make-up, we don’t differ at all. From a different point of view, we do, and quite considerably. I can neither conceive of the world of thought of Mr Plato nor reproduce the genius of Mr Einstein. Although I have one too, I honestly never felt the need to be able to do so. But with this part of the body, in which reason and understanding and other things are supposed to reside, really incredible feats can be performed. It is one thing that we all have one. It’s another thing how we manage it. Let’s see…

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