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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.