“The problem is our kids— like some of us— end up making career choices to impress other people for a fleeting, and false, feeling of validation. In the process, we lose sight of what makes us truly happy and successful.”
One of the most frustrating questions for high school juniors and seniors is, “what do you want to do when you grow up?” Determining a career path is a difficult process that is often left up to unreliable means such as chance, relying on what one is good at as a teenager, or a direction suggested or imposed on them by someone else. But how many adults have used this method and are still saying at age 35 or 40, “I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do!”
Is relying on one of four core subjects in school really the best method to determine a career path that will influence the next 40+ years of their life?
The workforce has changed substantially, but our...
I remember Mary walking into my office. She appeared calm and relaxed, while her son, Michael, was visibly stressed. Mary shared her goals for her son with many specific details: top three colleges to which he should apply, the major he should study, the type of career he should plan for, and the list of pressing items to be handled so everything else could fall into place. I understood her desire to ensure her son had all of the opportunities he deserved or wanted. I appreciated that she had researched schools and the college application process. But, I also felt concerned for Michael’s immediate future.
Throughout the conversation with his mother, I noticed him slump further and further in the chair, the web of his hand cradling his forehead as he gazed into his lap. I see this often, as parents wanting the best and imagining their children living a better life than they did, become the directors while children are merely actors.
We often wish our kids showed more...
At KMAC, we use an assessment that's a little bit different to help students find their career or college major. Aside from a standard personality test, we have found it really helpful to make students think about the whole process in a different manner.
We want to ask questions other than, "what do you want to be?" That's kind of overwhelming! Does your child even know all the possibilities of what they could be? Or what they want to do? "I want to be rich. I want to have money. I want to help others." Those are pretty common responses that we get from students, but there are a lot of ways to help others. There are a lot of ways to make money.
Let's ask a different question: what do you want your life to look like?
It's a Wednesday morning. You're rolling out of bed. What time is it? Where do you live? What are you putting on? Are we putting on a suit? Are you putting on a...