Kids always have something exciting in mind when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up: firefighter, singer, veterinarian, etc. They look forward to that dream or come up with a new dream every few months. Some will actually make that dream come true, but for most the reality is that there isn’t much demand for a firefighting singing veterinarian.
This is the stage of life I find myself in with my daughters aged 16 and 13. My oldest is working towards going to university to become a doctor. She’s doing well with math and sciences and she is earning the grades to get her in the door.
My youngest just recently had an educational epiphany. She had those kid dreams too: veterinarian/horse farmer; but announced very confidently that she wants to become an elementary teacher. My wife and I asked how she arrived at that conclusion and she came back with a solid business case! She said teachers have great pay, benefits and working hours; she loves horses and says that she could get a place in the country, keep a few horses and spend the summers riding.
We were impressed by her confidence, reasoning and decision making ability. It’s still early and her plans may change, but at least she is thinking ahead. I’d like to think that she has learned a few things from her parents along the way. I always share my nuggets of wisdom such as “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail” or “find work that is hands-on, paid for by the government or insurance companies and can’t be outsourced”. It seems that careers in teaching and medicine fit the criteria quite well!
Being the educated professionals that we are or striving to become, we can be influential to those around us. Sometimes we may be asked for our opinions, sometimes we offer them up freely, then other times our actions will speak louder than words. The important thing is that if we have a chance to help someone along their journey, we should feel honored to do so. Think about those who helped shape the direction of your own path and consider how you can do the same for someone else and pay it forward! Giddy Up!
– Robert Kulig
Computer Systems Technology ‘98