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

luvsJack

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
I always told them to find a goal and figure out how to get there. I had careers “picked out” for each of them. Lol good thing I never told them because none of the three went that way

My oldest, wanted to make a certain amount of money and live a certain life. He found the job to get him there, worked his way up and now he is there. He works offshore overseas. He is gone 28 days but truly enjoys his life and his family the 28 he is home.

My youngest is still getting there. She has a good job with good benefits but it’s not her chosen field. She isgetting her foot in the door of her chosen field, personal trainer. She wants to work for herself but she has to stay with a gym and build her clientele but that’s part time. Her goal is to work for herself and personal training is the doing what she really loves.

I have given her and her husband the advise of figure out what you want to achieve and what you need to do to get there. Honestly for a young married couple they are doing very well.

And my middle one has taken a little longer to figure it out. He thought he had it figured out when his oldest child was born. He decided within a month that his goal was to be able to spend as much time with his kids as he could. He didn’t want to work night or long shifts like the career he was heading toward would have required. And he didn’t want to be away from home like his brother. He has floundered around a bit. But he will start school in August.

I
 

ontheuptick

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
I’m a financial planner and also serve at my church to help people with financial trouble. Number one advice:

——Your choice of schooling should heavily depend on your planned major/vocation, from a financial perspective. If you want to be a teacher, or a social worker, or something with limited income potential you absolutely should not go to an expensive private school and come away with a load of debt and a degree that won’t be any more valuable (in your field). If you want to be a doctor or computer engineer or work on Wall Street, fine, go to Harvard or ____ insert private school here. But not if your chosen profession has limited income potential. This is not a slight on those professions, they are all needed and awesome. Just choose your school cost accordingly!!
 

wenrob

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
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.
My dad always said, “There are people who look for jobs and people who go get jobs.”
 
  • LSUmiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
    I said working is a grind. In the winter I get out of bed when it's dark and cold and don't want to get out of bed. I slog through rush hour traffic I don't want to endure. Do the same thing in reverse on the way home. Rush to get something semi-nutritious on the table. Go to bed before I want to so I can get up early and do the whole thing again the next day. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    So if working's a grind*, you'd better like what you do and you'd better like the people you work with. In that regard, I'm blessed and it makes the other stuff bearable.





    *--I know working conditions aren't a grind for a lot of people. To those people, I say "Good for you!" But the vast majority of people don't have it that good.
    I agree except I went with doing something I don’t mind doing & can tolerate but that has a lot of time off!
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    ——Your choice of schooling should heavily depend on your planned major/vocation, from a financial perspective. If you want to be a teacher, or a social worker, or something with limited income potential you absolutely should not go to an expensive private school and come away with a load of debt and a degree that won’t be any more valuable (in your field).
    I can't speak to Social Worker, but I also think you have to look at salaries in the area you want to work. Teachers here make good money. https://www.sanjuan.edu/cms/lib/CA01902727/Centricity/domain/116/documents/salary schedules/certificated salaries/2018-2019 K-12 Regular Salary Schedule_11.01.2018.pdf
     

    LSUmiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
  • StephMK

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2004
    We have tried to encourage our kids to find careers doing something you enjoy. DH and I have chosen career paths that give us a good work/life balance. I have also told our kids to think about what you want your day to day work life to look like. Office or not, routine days vs always changing, standard vs irregular hours, etc.

    DD25 is pursuing a post BA nursing degree and has gotten lots of advice from her nurse MIL. DD18 is currently majoring in art but exploring some ideas and enjoys physics. She is torn between pursuing a major that will lead to a high paying job vs other interests.

    DS is a HS senior and pursuing computers and neuroscience. He will be just fine and is pretty focused.
     

    ontheuptick

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2014
    I can't speak to Social Worker, but I also think you have to look at salaries in the area you want to work. Teachers here make good money. https://www.sanjuan.edu/cms/lib/CA01902727/Centricity/domain/116/documents/salary schedules/certificated salaries/2018-2019 K-12 Regular Salary Schedule_11.01.2018.pdf
    Similarly, a social worker can make good money too if you’re in the right area of the field & have a clinical license.
    Guys, I wasn’t saying that there aren’t places where teachers make “good” money or certain types of social workers as well. I clearly understand this. Although, I would argue that no matter where you are teaching, the entry level pediatrician down the street is likely making 5x what the entry level teacher or social worker.

    And, most of those jobs are on a pay scale. Whereas, if you are a computer programmer you are not on a pay scale, your work and education can make your income multiply. Normally not the case for some other professions.

    I realize there are exceptions which you kindly pointed out. But, the base advice remains and is sound.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    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 means 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...…………………...
    My college degree pretty much means nothing now also. I've been a SAHM for 14 years and have a Bachelors in English. It checks a box on a resume, but that's about it.

    My sister has a degree in Computer Graphic Design that she got from a private art school that, at this point, means nothing because she stopped working in the industry and things have moved away from the software she was certified in. She's been SAHM for about 5 years and is going to be paying off her student loans for another 10 years. Her husband still works in the industry (same degree from same school) and he is a creative director at an advertising agency, so he's doing well.

    It's very easy for college degrees to become worthless, more or less. I am of the opinion that college is mostly a money grab with not much real benefit in the real world. Getting jobs seems to be mostly about who you know and the skills you have, not where you went to school or what you studied.
     

    Maistre Gracey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2002
    No kids, but my advice would be to NOT pick my career field.
    Salary is very good, and job overall is good.
    Just too many variables to plan an entire future.

    I’m an airline pilot.
     
  • Lilacs4Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2015
    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
    Depends where you live. Jobs requiring a communications degree are very far and few between in the places my kids have grown up and want to live their lives. Not everyone wants to live in NYC or LA (or choose your own large city). the best they can hope for is a chance to work in a small to midsize local country market....not much glamour in the Petosky MI local TV station, battling the other 300 communications majors that also can't find a job in the area for a job interview.

    So, I guess my 4th piece of advice would be - know your job market of the place you would like to put down roots and raise a family. You aren't going to get far with an Ocean Biology degree in Nebraska, but you will probably do great with a degree that has to do with the agriculture business - which in turn wouldn't get you very far in NYC.
     
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    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    Although, I would argue that no matter where you are teaching, the entry level pediatrician down the street is likely making 5x what the entry level teacher or social worker.
    Well, best I can tell from Google, an entry level pediatrician can expect to make $135,000 a year as compared to an starting teacher here at $48,000. Pretty small difference giving the difference in time in school.
     

    soccerdad72

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2012
    Well, best I can tell from Google, an entry level pediatrician can expect to make $135,000 a year as compared to an starting teacher here at $48,000. Pretty small difference giving the difference in time in school.
    Starting salary is not everything. The pediatrician has a lot larger earning potential over time than the teacher.
     

    Pea-n-Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2004
    I thought of another thing. More of a question to think about than advice about what to choose.

    Do you want to be married to your career? Because some people practically are, and it is a requirement for some careers. Nothing wrong with it if you do, but you need to go into with your eyes open.

    In other words, think long and hard about how you want to spend your life outside of work.
    .
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    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.)
    I get what you're saying, but sometimes the vague degrees can be applied more broadly in the job market which actually presents MORE opportunities than specific degrees in specific fields - like education, nursing, etc. Those degrees aren't as versatile if they end up in a job they don't like. I have a bachelor's in Business Management - that's about as vague as it gets, but I've been fortunate to work in travel, law, and banking. Its applicable to many areas. But I do agree that majors like "art history" or "anthropology" are tough sells.

    In the same vein, I think someone should choose a major where they understand what the implications of the job are. If you go to school for broadcast, chances are high you'll have to move away from your home city when you're done. If someone doesn't want to move to a new city, they need to consider this when choosing a major.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    Well, best I can tell from Google, an entry level pediatrician can expect to make $135,000 a year as compared to an starting teacher here at $48,000. Pretty small difference giving the difference in time in school.
    Yes, but not like it used to be $205,000 is average for a pediatrician.. So yes, double what a teacher here makes after 20 years (Assuming the teacher doesn't elect to coach a sport, lead the band or the choir, or teach one or two sessions of summer school, each of those add a $5,000 stipend).
     

    Happyinwonerland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2014
    DD is 6 so we don't give her much career advice beyond "Yes, you will make an amazing super hero-princess- chef one day!"

    As she gets older I will STRONGLY advise against the helping professions like social work, teaching, and healthcare. You can earn a good living and do important work, but the job will absolutely drain you and change you fundamentally. These are professions where you will work yourself to the bone, and your achievements will rarely be praised, but any minor transgression will be treated as a monumental failure. I've been in more trouble over a patient not liking my attitude than a nurse who didn't check a name, gave a wrong medication and killed a man. It's a messed up world.
     
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