When it comes to teaching our children about careers, the sooner, the better. We all know their minds might change a gazillion (that's a gallon of millions) times before they reach high school or even college graduation, but at least they are thinking. While books, virtual experiences, career days, and even movies can help them expand their minds, exposure is key. It is not necessary to take special trips to point out careers they may be unaware of. This can be done during vacations or even weekly outings.
When I advise young people about careers, I always begin by asking what do you enjoy doing the most? What are you passionate about? What do you want to contribute to the world? What legacy would you like to leave? So when I speak to children about my authoring BJ's Big Dream, I begin sharing how passionate I have always been about writing. As a youngster, I ran to the school supply aisle in drug stores before I even thought about the toy aisle. I chose paper, pencils, coloring books, and crayons first, but then books were next. I emphasize that reading and writing are fundamental to any career, and even if they don't desire to be professional writers, they should become the best readers and writers they can.
Now that I am growing up and finally making plans to leave the school system after over 40 years (I wasn't that slow....I just enjoyed hanging out there that much), I plan to be a professional writer. Writing children's books has so much magic, and words in print are powerful. Sharing your words with people you will never meet or know moves me to want to share my dreams, thoughts and experiences even more.
I guess you really see my passion because of my detour :), but again, new jobs and careers are being created daily. Our educational curriculum will need to teach students the skills, especially soft skills, to be successful in any setting and in a broad range of careers. So, begin those talks. As parents, teachers and mentors, let’s help our youth to learn of and prepare for careers beyond the ones they will come across on a daily basis.