How can you ensure your child get’s a great job?
Well, a magic ball would be a lovely answer. And yes, we can certainly push them to succeed in ways that we have been told will prepare them for a successful future, but what WILL their future look like?
Let’s take a walk back about 40 years and see how the future can help us to “predict” the past.
When I was born in 1981, industries were booming, working in the trades was steady, and getting a corporate job where you could move your way up was the best possible outcome. Plus, everyone was unionizing. Even Safeway had a union and was easily able to entice fresh high school grads to work for them and make “loads” of money today and have job security rather than go to school. Or, you could go to school, that cost money, with hopes for more financial security and health benefits later.
Then, 10 years later, those 80’s babies grew up a little and went to school and we were told, Baby Boomers will be retiring in droves! Prepare yourselves for any job your want so get as much education as you can to ensure you get the best, secure job. So we did. In fact, in my final high school year they introduced CAPP, Career And Personal Planning. AKA, how to write a resume and how you can earn the most money having the most number of letters after your name on a business card.
Grad came and, low and behold, the boomers all stayed put. They couldn’t afford to retire. No jobs were to be found. Some industries were starting to fall backwards a bit, but all was still fairly stable in the job economy. We had the choice of starting at the bottom of a union seniority list in hopes of moving up after many years and some of those Boomers started to retire, or become career students until things got…. well… better. Trade Schools looked really appealing to my generation. They made good promises and taught a lot of content in a short period of time so many of us managed to get decent jobs after completing a couple years of hands on education.
Fast forward a bit and next was my sisters generation. Millennials. She was born 13 years after me. Don’t worry they told her. The boomers are all definitely retiring now and those Gen X kids are all out of the way to make room for you to walk into all of these job vacancies. But, the boomers were STILL around. AND the jobs that they did have were becoming obsolete in place of tech jobs instead. Who could have seen that coming?!? Jeeze, I wish they had been teaching technology and coding when she was in school… Wait, they still don’t do that?? Anyway….
Now it takes us to today. My son is 10 and at this point, no one knows what the heck things will be like when he graduates high school, or even why there is high school. I think many economists prefer to guess, I mean “Predict”, what happens next in oil and gas rather than education.
Being that I am “Technically” a cusper of Gen X & Millennial, or so the book “Y-Size Your Business” told me, I like to think I can speak wisely from 2 generations experience about market conditions, false promises, and overall, teach those who come next.
PREPARE FOR ANYTHING!
Sorry, that got a little over dramatic but seriously, prepare for anything. How? Well it sure as heck isn’t learning about WW1 (unless you want to be in the military or a history professor) and it sure as heck isn’t learning about Geology (unless you love rocks and want to be a scientist or teacher). I have nothing against learning these areas of education if someone is curious but I would rather you Learn HOW to Learn and about the brain than content that traditionally, from experience, is crammed in and spewed out onto a test to determine how much value we have in this world.
Science and Math and History and English and Art, this is ALL needed in this world. But if we don’t teach kids HOW to learn and expose them to all that this world has to offer, and where the world needs help, how will they ever be able to grow up to be contributing adults who can pivot and take action in ANY scenario that arises?!?
The lessons that need to be taught are those that can’t be graded with an A, B or C+. They are areas that are ALWAYS in development. Area’s that we all have different levels of to begin with but all need to understand and be conscious of. They have been called by many “Soft” skills but in my opinion, they are the hardest and most critical skills to acquire, on purpose, in today’s education system.
Unfortunately, this blog is already incredibly long and I want to finish my original point so I will leave diving into these Critical (Soft) skills for another post. But picture this;
Your baby is now 17 years old and about to walk up on stage and collect their high school diploma. In that moment of joy, you feel that moment of fear seep in as well. What’s next? What are they capable of? What has school prepared them to do? I mean, 12 years is a LONG time to have taken them away and taught them “things”, but what can my child actually do to take care of themselves while also feeling fulfilled and happy throughout their life???
Do they have to go to college now and possibly take on debt? Do I have to take on debt for them?
What will they take in college? And what if they don’t like the field they choose? What if there are no good paying jobs in that field when they graduate?
So many questions. What are the answers?
The answer is this, and it’s not all on you, but you are the one in a position to take action. Before their graduation, help your child gain experience and expose them to as many experiences and topics as possible. Help them find out now what they like and don’t like. Help them help others and feel what real contribution and internal fulfillment feels like. Give them the chance to develop and practice these Critical Skills (soft skills) so they can start to develop them before it becomes more difficult for them to adapt.
From 7-17 years, focus on giving them 10 years of real world experience so they feel like college is an empowered choice, not a mandatory debt. Help them to be capable of self care before they become adults. Allow them to hit the ground running.
I promise to go deeper into these Critical Skills (soft skills) next. For now, I just want to prepare you to prepare them for the unexpected future that they will have a hand in shaping.
Build a Biz Kids hopes that through our programming, and utilizing entrepreneurship as a medium for learning, we can be an option to parents to help them develop and practice these Critical Skills. We are also in development for what comes next. Stay Tuned. You will be hearing more about The Fuel Academy over the coming months but know that we are in your corner, a part of your village, and here to support you and your child on their journey.