How to Give Career Advice to Kids


 
 
I saw this diagram as an adult and just loved it! My kids are always asking what they should be when they grow up. My parents without question gave the advice of, "Do what you love, and the money will follow." It was such a great thing to tell a child. Unfortunately, their advice could not have been more incorrect! I did what I love and became a marriage therapist. I should say, “I became poor!” And, I am even on the higher end of the pay scale for therapists because I have a PhD!
So, what to tell a child? I talk to my children now about the diagram above as a good foundation to start the conversation. You have to find a job that you love, you're good at (or can get good at) and that pays well. Usually, their next question is, "So, which jobs make money?"
In our family, we have come up with one main prerequisite for a job to earn money. The prerequisite is that there must be a high barrier for entry, and thus a low supply of workers. An example would be a doctor. Medical school is so difficult, long, and expensive, it keeps most would be docs far away from this profession. Another example of a high paying profession is engineers. But, think about being an engineer, you have to do math all day! That automatically takes out about half of the population that hates math.
In the end, if you want a high paying job, you’re going to have to do the work no one else either can or wants to do. Or, as the diagram above shows, do what you love, just be ready to be happy but poor. And, in my experience, poor does not equal happy :) Yes you can find happiness anywhere, but as the Everclear song said, "I hate people who try to tell me money is the root of all that kills. They have never been poor. They have never had the joy of a welfare Christmas."