When I was a young girl, the script went something like this:
You need to study hard and go to a good school and get a stable job in an office.
That, my friends, is the extent of the career counselling I received from my parents. And I don’t blame them for their lack of inspirational advice; they were simply following a cultural norm, one that dictated that children should be fed, clothed and educated – with the fervent hope that their post-secondary education would lead them to a cushy, 9-5, “white collar” job.
(Do we still use that term in 2016?)
So I did it. I went through school, I landed the office job, and I proceeded to establish a career – one that, at first glance, seemed glossy and full of promise, but in reality, was far from perfect. Because I carried a chip on my shoulder.
I was angry at my parents for putting education on a pedestal without considering my passions and aspirations. I was angry at myself for complacently following along, lacking the appropriate motivation to challenge the status quo. I was angry that I couldn’t get a raise, couldn’t lose 5 pounds and couldn’t find a way to rewind the clock.
In the end, I got it “write”.
This is a picture of my two boys on their first day of school last September.
Who will they become? What will they be? As I watch them grow, mature, and find inspiration in the world around them, I’m full of hope for their futures. Because whether they choose to be an actor or an analyst, a fashion designer or a fire chief, the world is their oyster and the opportunities are endless. And, unlike generations before me, I don’t have a set expectation of what defines success.
After seeing a Seneca College ad on the subway recently, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that today’s colleges, like Seneca, can support 500+ career options from trades to professionals and offer everything from 4-year BComms to Graduate Certificates to Diplomas. (That’s right – a degree from college. Times have changed, yes?) With the right school, real-world learning, passionate teachers and an authentic student experience, I know my boys will be on the right track for a successful career… and a successful life.
Happiness, friends. Happiness is all that I wish for my children. I want them to have the passion to learn, the drive to never give up, the fearlessness to push themselves out of their comfort zone. I want them to feel ready for anything the world throws at them. I want them to search their hearts and explore their options.
Of course, a very small part of me… just a teeny bit… loves the sound of “Dr. Almeida”. Shh! It will be our little secret.