SO: What advice have you given your kids about picking a career?

morgan98

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 29, 2010
I don't have kids but I am going to play anyway.

I agree with the find something that you are good at and can live with that gives you strong employment opportunities, even if it is not your passion. You can explore and pursue your passions as hobbies.

I think talking to kids about the cost of college is very relevant and it is important to have very honest conversations about money. They need to understand what it will take to pay back loans. Also, it is easy to say money doesn't matter if you are doing what you love, until it does...lol! It is important to strike a balance between being happy at your career and earning enough to keep you financially comfortable. Not having money and struggling financially over the long term can be much more draining than working at a job you might like a little less, but that pays considerably more.
 

Skippy918

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Mine are still in elementary school, but ds10 already mentioned he wants to be an engineer and also a business owner. Dd7 has no clue, but she has lots of time to explore different things and see what’s out there.
They can do the college route, military route or trade school. I’ll support whatever choice they make.
 
  • DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    We are steering our kids towards vocational type jobs. My oldest has a passion for pastry arts and is very naturally talented. He is also very naturally talented with electronics and computers and is VERY good at math, like above 12th grade level as a 9th grader. Neither will be going to college as they are both autistic and have other academic areas where they struggle mightily. Our desire is for them to have ENJOYABLE jobs, but we expect to continue to support them, financially, throughout adulthood. In some ways, I feel like they are lucky. They can find a job they enjoy doing without the pressure of self support. My youngest is very much an artist, but he also has a passion for vehicles and I can see him being a mechanic.
     

    E&Cmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2011
    We haven't, and won't. Our goal is to teach them how to be outstanding young men and women, work hard and be happy. The path they take in their career is theirs to choose. Certainly, if they have questions, we answer them, but won't push them toward one career or another.

    As has been said, their career path could take twists and turns that nobody could foresee. My college degree has almost nothing whatsoever to do with what I do for a living.

    Well said. This is how I feel. My dad discouraged me from going into teaching even though he was a teacher and I resented it.

    My 15 year olds passion is illustration and is already thinking of getting her BfA. She also like computer related things so I can see her doing something that combines them. I have already gotten looks from other parents when they ask what she wants to do. Apparently medicine, engineering or nursing (FYI I am a nurse) is the only thing you are suppose to do in my area.

    My 12 year old....no clue yet.
     

    Lilacs4Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2015
    Kind of college/career advice rolled into one...

    DS18 chose his career path on his own, but he is following the advice that we have always given our kids:

    1. Pick a major that has an actual job attached to it. For example, DS wants to be a Physical Therapist. He is a PT major. We have always said - go to school and be a teacher...lawyer...nurse....mechanical engineer....doctor, etc. Don't go to school for "communications" or "fashion design" or "geography" or "art history". We are middle class people...we have to get in and out of college as quickly and cheaply as possible, and need decent-paying jobs waiting for us at the end so we can start paying back our student loans :laughing: There is no time to blindly search for a job that requires a "communications" degree! (there isn't anything WRONG with any of the above, so don't take offense. WE have just found that it's harder to find the job you want with a generalized degree. I have a business/psychology degree, and trust me...I am NOT in the career I thought I would be in.)

    2. Do not stop going to college. Get your degree no matter what. Figure it all out later, once you have a degree in hand. If you have to go back, go back, but do it AFTER you can fully support yourself and your choices.

    3. If you decide on the Military, go to college first so you can start at a higher rank (and pay). Depending on the details, the military will often be able to help with your student loans. DD wants to go this route, and eventually land in the Medical Corps.

    4. We will pay XXX for your college, and the rest is on you. You can pay via loans or "cash" you have earned, or you can work hard, get good grades and get scholarships. If you do the smart thing and go to a community college for 2 years, we will cover the entire cost of tuition and probably pay for books and some of your living expenses. If you do the dumb thing and pick an expensive out of state college, we will still only pay XXX, and you can figure out the rest on your own.
     
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    superme80

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2010
    My kids are super young, but we are starting to see where they might end up. My oldest loves art. In his dreams he is working for Nintendo or animating for Disney. I am pretty sure he will end up somewhere with a stable job, but we shall see.
    My middle son is an engineer. He loves projects, improvising, and working with his hands. He will go somewhere in life. His mind astounds me.
    My youngest wants to be an actor. He wants to sing on stage in German musicals. It is adorable. Not sure if he will ever achieve his dream, but he is trying to learn German, before he can read! :lmao:And he loves his dance classes and he sings a lot. He is smart, so he may end up doing something completely practical with his life. Or he might take after me and not.
    I am having a blast watching this boys grow and seeing where they will go.
     
  • DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    3. If you decide on the Military, go to college first so you can start at a higher rank (and pay). Depending on the details, the military will often be able to help with your student loans. DD wants to go this route, and eventually land in the Medical Corps.
    Or, have the military just pay for college altogether. Look into ROTC scholarships. That is what my husband did. 100% of college paid for AND he still has a post 9/11 GI bill available to him to use in the future for graduate school if he wants. It only requires a 4 year commitment after graduation, with the option to continue beyond that.

    The military won't pay back college loans after the fact, as far as I know. The Army Medical Corps is a separate thing that happens after college and is basically free medical school in exchange for service time afterwards. I have a friend whose son is doing that now.
     

    amcnj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 1999
    We pointed out things we had observed that they seemed to be good at or had an affinity for. They did end up with majors and careers that made use of some of these skills, and so far have not had any job complaints. I hope it lasts their entire careers.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    Kind of college/career advice rolled into one...

    Don't go to school for "communications" or "fashion design" or "geography" or "art history". .
    LOL. I can't speak to fashion design, geography or art history, and I can't predict the job market in 4 years but a Communications degree today is an instant job. We can't hire people fast enough. Certainly one could argue the money isn't huge, but with so many companies are looking for people with Communications degrees to create content for TV stations, websites, Facebook pages, Instagram, and Reddit, there are lots of jobs
     
  • smokeyblue

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    I don't have kids, but after changing industries in the last year I thought to myself, if I had a daughter I would tell her to work in male-dominated workplaces (mining, utilities, trades, etc.). I'm basically doing the same work as I did before, being treated much better and getting paid twice as much.

    Best career outlook and pay with little schooling IMO . . . Electronics Tech. 2 years of school and you'll be making $80k plus inside a few years.
     

    jaybirdsmommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2008
    That he can do whatever he feels called to do as long as

    A. He does something (I have no basement for him to live in), and
    B. He balances the cost of his education with what the expected beginning salary for his chosen field is (ie, no loans for expensive private college for a $25,000/year career).
     

    wenrob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2008
    We haven't, and won't. Our goal is to teach them how to be outstanding young men and women, work hard and be happy. The path they take in their career is theirs to choose. Certainly, if they have questions, we answer them, but won't push them toward one career or another.

    As has been said, their career path could take twists and turns that nobody could foresee. My college degree has almost nothing whatsoever to do with what I do for a living.
    That he can do whatever he feels called to do as long as

    A. He does something (I have no basement for him to live in), and
    B. He balances the cost of his education with what the expected beginning salary for his chosen field is (ie, no loans for expensive private college for a $25,000/year career).
    Pretty much these.

    It doesn’t matter what it is they do as long as they DO. There will be no couch surfing here. My goal is to raise productive, upstanding members of society, the rest is up to them. So far, so good. One down, two to go.
     

    tcufrog

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2012
    My kids are 7 and 11. I have no interest in steering them in a certain direction right now but I have told them a few things. I grew up in a financially unstable household and it was very stressful. They are fortunate to grow up in a home where money isn't ever a worry so they don't know what that's like. I've told them that money can't buy happiness but it can buy freedom from worry. It's not glamorous to be scared that if you have a flat tire you won't be able to afford to replace it. I've also told them that the perfect job is one that is personally fulfilling and pays well but that it's still good to have a job that pays well and allows you to afford hobbies that you find personally fulfilling.
     

    design_mom

    probably more like my dad than I care to admit
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2007
    I told them to find something that they don't hate to do that will earn them enough money that they can be satisfied. It doesn't have to be a high-paying job as long as they understand the sacrifices that go along with it.

    You're going to spend a LOT of your life working at your job, so you'd better make it something you enjoy. I do enjoy what I do -- but there's enough crap that goes along with any job that if you already hated what you do, it would be miserable. "More money's" *not* that important as long as you have "enough." That is, I don't need the latest phone, newest car, etc. but I wouldn't be happy if I didn't have ANY disposable income or had to worry about making my bills.
     

    Forevermarypoppins

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2015
    It didn't matter. Both of my grown children did not see where they would be right now when they started college or even after their freshman year,
    DD became a single mom at 25, was never able to find a job in her field. As one of her old teachers stated( not intentionally, but still sad) "her college degree means pretty much nothing now." and my DS is halfway around the world teaching English for the 2 nd schoolyear in CHINA. Neither of these did anyone ever, ever think my kids would do...…………………...
     
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    Toolulu22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2015
    I don't have kids of my own, but I have my 'kids' at school- high school students. Many of my kids are first or second generation immigrants and many have typical retail or fast food jobs already. Many don't know anything about college- how many years to get what kind of degree, how to apply, and what scholarships are available.

    I teach science, so I tell them about different careers in science as topics come up. I encourage them to participate in activities that will allow them to have more life experiences (some of them haven't even been to a beach and its less than 10 miles away). I just talk with them at every chance about opportunities, pathways, and choices. When they ask about teaching as a profession (because they are nosy and want to know how much money we make) I tell them its great because we also have health and other benefits- things besides salary. I don't think I considered those things when I was in HS.

    I have a student assistant, who helps me during a free period, and she told me that her three career interests are singing, becoming a chef, or a mechanic (which she already helps her dad with)- my advice to her was that she should sing at every chance- but would likely make a better living either cooking or working on cars.
     

    Pea-n-Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2004
    Don't start off with a lot of debt.

    As a result of meeting many people who said they love what they do and would do it for free, I told them to find something they really love and try to make a career out of it.

    Develop different skills so you have varying ways make a living. You never know what life throws at you.

    These two kind of go together:
    Learn to network.
    Learn to be assertive.
    Jobs don't happen by osmosis, you have to go after them, even if it's uncomfortable at first. Your future is up to you - nobody is going to come along and hand you a career.
     



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