Sagely Career Advice for Kids

September 24th, 2010

Some people say this blog is like the father they never had.

OK.  “Some people” is me.  But that’s not the point.  My point is that a lot of people have this question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”  Now, most people who ask this are kids.

But hey we adults too ask that question.  We just ask, “what do I want to do” or the ever-popular “What’s my passion?”

The mot answer you get is “do what you love,”  or my favorite, “follow your heart/passion.”

Now, that sounds like wonderful advice.  And I know what you’re thinking, “Man…now he’s gonna tell me to do something I hate.”

But hold up…I’m not THAT contrarian!

I’ll just you the same advice I’d give my kid…You can do what you love…but follow DSP RULE #1 of career choice:

Do something you’re good at.

This is not a joke.

If you suck at something, chances are that with a lot of hard work and effort you won’t suck at it as much.

It’s like this dude I know who studied piano,  He’s better than me (I can’t play the piano at all).  He’s trained hard and he loves it. But compared to other pianists, he’s so-so.  He just wasn’t born with the talent a lot of others are born with.

And that’s the thing.  When you’re naturally good at something, you stand a very good chance of being GREAT at it.

So, if you’re good at something and then work hard at it, you’re chance for success goes WAY up. It’s a lot easier to play to your strengths than spend a lot of time trying to fix your weaknesses.

You may ask, “but what am I agood at?”

To that, I answer how the hell should I know.  There are way to discover your strengths and weaknesses, but it’s too much to go into in one post.  But kids, rather than adults, usually have some idea of things that come easy to them.  Some people will tell a kid just to do what they want or follow in someone’s footsteps.  But the first question I have is: What are you good at?  That should be the first and last question.

Like if my kid wants to be an artist..well, if she’s good at it, why not try?  But if she sucks or just so-so, I’d recommend another line of work.

Yeah, my kid might end up calling me a dream-stealer or whatnot…but that’s a kid’s prerogative.

But who wants to spend most of your life working your ass off just to be mediocre?

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