I want to start by asking a question, at 18 did you know what you really wanted to do in life? and since then have you changed career paths through life?
I know for myself I wanted to be a teacher growing up. At 18 I couldn’t get into university as I screwed around too much in high school. I started working in kitchens, decided I was going to be a chef and started working in that direction. Thought about it and changed paths again, went to school for multimedia – web design, 3D graphics, print design etc. Graduated 1 month after 9/11 and the industry shut down.
Then I heard about oil in Alberta. Well great, let’s do this. Left Winnipeg and started in the patch as a ruffneck on a service rig. Changed paths again and started tubing inspections. Did that for a while but being out-of-town and having kids it became too much. Now I’m here in Edmonton working construction for a utility company and loving it.
What I am getting at is it took me until I was 31 to find my retirement job. So why do people and schools tell kids at 18 you need to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. High schools ram this down kids throats as soon as they enter the school. You need university and need to know what path to go down with no deviations.
My oldest daughter at 18 is in her first year of university now. We had quite a few arguments over the last few years due to her anxiety about having to pick her life long career. I have always told her to choose a path she loves, that 30 years down the road you want to be saying this was fucking awesome and not I hate my job. If things change over time, who cares as your interests grow. You are only a teen with a lifetime to enjoy!
So she entered university with the hopes of law school. Wicked! If that’s what she wants, I will help any way I can. Now in her second semester of university she started to hit a low patch again. I wrote about that here. Turns out she was struggling with wanting to change her career choice and with that her major in school.
She wanted to switch out of law and into something else but she had trouble with changing as she felt she would be a failure to which I said not at all. You now found your passion and that is great. You never know, as you grow it might change again and that’s ok. Do what you love always and never worry about what anyone else thinks.
She is now at ease again and on her way to switching her major. She is looking into work experience as well but most important there is a spark lit in her. Something I never saw while she wanted Law and for me as her dad that’s amazing. She found a passion she has had ever since she was a little girl and now she is pursuing her dream.
We as parents need to push our kids – not into what we want them to do but into what they love doing. Help them find that spark and let them know change is good and embrace it always. It’s not a bad thing at all. If I never made all those changes in me life early on, I would have never made it to Alberta, never met my wife, and never been the dad I am to the 3 best things to ever happen to me – my kids.
Let’s all help our kids find their passion and to help them achieve their goals. Remember it’s their life not ours and let them know change is a good thing.