“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Do you recall being asked this as a child? Do you remember what your answer was? Well… is that what you do now, as an adult?
Is there an actual point to this? Did it help us in any way? I’d really love to hear from those who think it did for them. Can we ask our children, teens, and youths this instead, “Whom do you want to be when you grow up?”
Is there a difference? Absolutely!
You see when we help them visualize who they can become, they can consider themselves as real people being their best selves, discovering their potentials, doing what they love, impacting their worlds and communities. We do not need to hem them in a box like we were. That’s the difference.
Dear young people, rather than plant yourself into some job that may not exist in another 5 to 10 years; or chasing a career that may quickly transform into a new one before you graduate from school. If you are a (secondary) school leaver or undergraduate, I have a lot to share with you so that you can make an informed decision when choosing a career path. I beg you, don’t listen to that doctor, lawyer, engineer, accountant song that has been playing since the 1970s. I am not saying those are not good career choices. They are wonderful for anyone who clearly loves to pursue those choices. What I am saying is, those are not the only paths to success. There are so many great options ahead of you. Why settle, when you can have the best choice?
For those who are now in their 30s, 40s or 50s who are raising children or teens, let us not make the same mistakes our parents did. Let us prepare them for a future that we may not see yet. The career that you have chosen for them may go out the window in a few years. Let us guide them instead to acquire long life skills and to be adaptable. That way, they will always be ahead.