Monday, July 24, 2006

All in a day's work: is mediation an ideal career choice?

Is mediation a good career for you?The Wall Street Journal on its CareerJournal.com web site reports on the results of its recent survey "2006 Best Careers".

CareerJournal.com lists 14 attributes that make a career choice an excellent one:

Advancement
Autonomy
Contribution to Society
Creativity
Customer Contact
Friendly Co-workers
Impressive to Others
Income
Intellectual Stimulation
Job Security
Lower Stress
Predictable Hours
Work-Life Balance
Benefits

Although mediation doesn’t seem to have made CareerJournal.com’s list of most satisfying careers, mediation does meet many of these criteria. Plenty of intellectual stimulation, low stress, no indentured servitude to the Almighty Billable Hour, with lots of emphasis on contribution to society and work/life balance. (The only areas that a mediation career may come up short in are income and job security, which can prove illusive although not unobtainable. One of the jokes that mediators like to tell mediation trainees illustrates this all too well: What’s the difference between a mediator and a large cheese pizza? The pizza can feed a family of four.)

This special feature of CareerJournal.com comes with advice for anyone contemplating a career change. Articles to consider include "How to Switch Careers in Midlife" and "Five Almost Painless Ways To Make a Career Change", which recommend one step in particular that make especially good sense for anyone who wants to transition to mediation from another career: Start a parallel career. (I would not recommend Step No. 5: Go cold turkey. Quitting your day job is rarely a wise move.)

For my thoughts on mediation training and careers, please read "How to become a mediator: five frequently asked questions about training and careers in mediation".

For a list of blogs (good resources since they offer regularly updated content) that focus specifically on marketing for mediators, visit the World Directory of Alternative Dispute Resolution Blogs.

(Via the excellent George's Employment Blawg.)