Career Day: What to Be When You Grow Up

Career kidsIf you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up by age twelve, a middle school career day might just help you make that important life decision.

They didn’t have such programs when I was on the cusp of pre-adulthood. At age twelve I thought I wanted to be an elementary school teacher.

Pshaw! How misguided was that decision?

I was a slack babysitter and motherhood revealed my patience and nurturing skills with tikes were sorely bereft. But I abandoned that pipe dream long before I could run amok in a classroom so luckily my own children were the only ones to suffer.

I’ve been invited to be a presenter at a middle school career day. I know! I’m surprised too that I would be entrusted with impressionable young minds.

I thought I’d start off my presentation by quoting from the speaker at my college graduation, “Those who seek profession in the arts and humanities fields usually have a very difficult time finding solid employment and make considerably much less money, but if they are able to find actual work in their craft, they seem to have high job satisfaction.”

No joke.

That was the motivational speech we were given as we sat giddily in our caps and gowns after spending years and thousands of dollars completing a college education. Ok, maybe he spoke truth, but did he have to burst our bubble the day before real adult life?

I won’t be so cruel to these teenyboppers because the fact is my business/marriage partner and I have managed to make a living in the humanities fields for over twenty years now.

Take that Dr. Dreamsquasher!

My presentation is supposed to answer the following questions for the kids:
1. Why did you choose this career?
2. What type of education does this career require?
3. What do you like best about this career?
4. What are some things you don’t like about this career?
5. How much money do people in this career generally make?
6. What do you spend the majority of time doing while at work?
7. What advice do you have for students interested in this career?

Here are my answers:
1. I chose this career because the department I initially majored in was malfunctioning so I had to switch quick or lose more time and money. And, because I realized I’d always been a writer (volumes of journals starting at age eight).

2. I strongly believe no education is ever wasted. No matter how inadequate a class/teacher/department/school is there are still valuable lessons to be learned, like how to recognize academic decay and efficiently transfer credits.

3. I like that I get to do what I love while wearing sweats and eating chocolate chips.

4. I don’t like when my kids come into my office and steal my chocolate chips.

5. Incomes range from J.K. Rowling to Anne Frank.

6. Eating chocolate chips.

7.Learn, grow, study, set goals, obtain skills, get education, gain experience, create opportunities and ignore dreamsquashers! Work hard at what you’re passionate about and you’ll likely get to do what you love in some way or another.

Of course, I’m going to glam up my presentation, throw some graphics into PowerPoint and change out of my sweats. I’m also going to hand out chocolate chips.


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