#BigParentingIdea — At What Age Should Children Decide Their Career Paths?


Children should never decide their career paths.

We all ask them this cliché question What are you going to be when you grow up?, but this is a terrible question. It should never be asked.

Not only that. When they reach their teenage years we tell them that there is not much time left to decide their future.

And by that time they have only experience as school children or students. Most of them didn’t work a single minute in their lives. They didn’t have a chance to try anything.

Most of them have no idea what they might enjoy doing day in and day out in adulthood, but they absolutely have to give us the answer to this pressing question Who will you work as? How will you earn your living in life? Doing/ being what?

The only piece of data they have as school children is which school subjects they like and which they hate.

And because the whole society demands an answer from them they yield and do what I (and what 99% or even 100% of my high school peers) did. We pick our careers based on our preferences concerning our school subjects. And that’s a terrible idea!

That’s exactly what I did.

I hated maths, so together with my parents we figured law might be good for me.

If I had liked maths I probably wouldn’t have chosen law school.

Now that I’m no longer a lawyer (I quit at the age of 35, after having invested heavily in this path) I know that hating (or liking) one school subject should not be a basis for one’s decision which career to pursue.

What should be this basis?

We should always base our career decisions on one simple variable:

Do we enjoy it? (Do we feel excited each day about the prospect of being able to do our work again? / Do we hate weekends and days off? / Do we love Mondays? / Do we fear the prospect of not being able to do our work?/ Do we hate the prospect of retiring? / Would we do it even if no one would pay us for it?)

That’s the best way to decide your career.

And what do you do prior to finding it?

You don’t decide your career. You decide what you will try as next, based on your best guess what might be a good fit (taking into account your interests, talents, hobbies and previous experiences).At what age should a child decide his career path?

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