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Do What You Love And Money Follows? Nope!

What real-world advice will you give your kids?

As a parent, you have more life experience than your kids. What common sense advice, information that doesn't appear in textbooks, would you give your children?

Here are some of my thoughts:

  1. Too many people go to school and expect to be handed a diploma and a job. Formal education teaches the basics, but you have to supply the drive.
  2. Be realistic. You can do what you love as a hobby, but if it's not an in-demand career, it's better to pursue something that you have the talent for that will pay the bills.
  3. Set a course for a work/life balance. If you realize from a young age that you intend to have a family and want to keep working, seek out careers with flexible or family-friendly hours, such as teaching, nursing or selling real estate.
  4. There are "too many chiefs and too few Indians," as the saying goes. So many people are pursuing advanced degrees that trade school grads who can "do" may make more sense in the future (just my opinion, but everyone needs electricity in their house and a haircut).
  5. Don't let an opportunity pass you by, even if it's inconvenient. I don't regret taking a solo plane trip to London, but I do regret working while attending classes at the County College of Morris during the summer after my high school graduation. I should have spent more time at the beach. There are plenty of work-filled summers to be had as an adult.

I'm curious to know what you've learned about education or careers that you feel is worth repeating to your kids.

JB September 29, 2011 at 01:13 AM
Make sure your kids know how to: contribute to and keep track of a checking account; prepare their own simple tax returns; know the difference between owning and leasing a vehicle, and renting an apt. and owning a home. Real life stuff that so many leave to others, and end up in big trouble at some point. As for a job/career, you have to have an interest in the job or business, or you'll never be happy.
Sharon Maroldi September 29, 2011 at 01:27 AM
I agree with all of that. In terms of liking what you do, that is important. But, you can't always love what you do. Even a great job has annoyances and if you can't accept them and keep on truckin' you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of chasing the elusive "perfect" career that doesn't exist.
Natalie Davis (Editor) September 30, 2011 at 01:21 AM
Truth be told, though, many people don't even like what they must do. And in this economy, even if you absolutely loathe your job, if it's your burden to support a family, you must suck it up and plow forward with it, because you are lucky to have it. Liking one's job is a privilege not all of us can afford.

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