I was quite a fickle kid when it came to future aspirations. I wanted to be an astronaut for a while, and I also wanted to be a lawyer. I’m sure I had fleeting fancies with many more career choices, especially after watching themed movies – Dirty Dancing, Kick Boxer etc.
Being a ‘grown up’ now I almost sigh as I talk to my nieces and nephews about sticking in at school, as it is advice that I heard, and advice that often fell upon deaf ears. I did stick in and work hard, although I think being asked to seriously choose subjects that will help with your future ambition when you are 13 is a tall order.
I wish two things happened when I was at school.
The First Thing
Teachers explained the relevance and wonder of things. Maybe this did happen, and i missed it. For me, maths was all equations and sums, and no relevance. Now that I understand more about physics, maths, the universe I realise how cool it all is. If only that coolness and wonderment could have been passed to me when it mattered! Have you even read Nature’s Numbers? In my adult state of wanting to find out more, this book filled a massive hole. I’d be lying if I said I remembered all of the facts and concepts presented, but I know that I loved the book, enjoyed reading it, and talked about it for a while afterwards.
The Second Thing
I wish we had a class that explained a range of different job options that are available. Again, maybe this was covered in my ‘Guidance’ class, and I may not remember. I doubt it though. My nephew is 16 and has just left school. He left as my sister had relocated a number of times in the past few years, and at 16 he didn’t want to join another new school and go through the teenage turmoil of trying to fit in, make new friends and do well at school when many of the classes are different. He has been exploring career options and has applied for construction and mechanic courses at college. He has also talked about joining the army. I love that he is looking for a new avenue to explore, but I’m worried that he think this is it, and these are the only choices open to him.
I sent him a message with a few different career ideas, (Television Production (camera, sound, director, etc) – Sports Coach & Development – Hospitality Management – Physiotherapist/ sports massage – Carpentry – IT – Media/Graphic Design – Chef -Teaching – Renewable Energy or Agriculture) hoping that even if none of them sounded right for him he would at least be forced to think about it a bit more. If it turns out he really wants to do one of the options he’s already mentioned, then fair doo’s, I just want him to know that he if he thinks about what he currently enjoys, he can probably find a job doing that or using the same skills.
When I was younger I always looked at adults who moaned about their jobs and thought, ‘sack that!’ Why would you continue working somewhere when you don’t enjoy it? Money isn’t everything. Yet I am in the same position! I hate my current role, and I’m too scared to fully commit to a definite change.
In my defence… I have lots of past times that I enjoy, I’m open to new personal experiences, and I am looking for a new job. Why leave something crap to go to something equally as crap? Two clichés apply to my current thinking:
- The grass isn’t always greener on the other side
- Sometimes it’s a case of better the devil you know
Yet deep down I know one crucial fact….
The magic happens outside of your comfort zone!