Dear Granddaddy, my parents keep asking me about what I want to do with my future, and I just don’t know. I feel so confused. Katie K. – overwhelmed teen.
Katie, I can still remember being frustrated as a high school student when my guidance counselor kept demanding that I tell him right then and there what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Honestly, I had no idea what I wanted to do at that time. Even today, thirty years later, I still sometimes wonder what I want to be when I grow up.
Unfortunately, as a teacher and a parent, I get to relive this same stress, year after year, when I see the uncertainty on my students’ faces when they’re trying to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Even my own high school daughter is making her mother and me a little nervous because she keeps telling us that she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, either.
Katie, chances are you’re going to have many different jobs and many different careers. Heck, some of your jobs may not even exist yet. But don’t worry, you don’t need to figure this all out today. You’ll have a lifetime to figure it out. All you need to do now is just take your next little step by doing something new that makes you a little smarter and a little more capable. This little step will help you get better at learning new things and learning them fast, and that will be the key to a successful and rewarding future.
In conclusion, the traditional career and life trajectory doesn’t truly exist anymore. Today, our career and life paths look more like a spider web where each new move opens up a host of new options and directions for us to try out in this journey called life. So try to relax some and keep an open mind, okay? Also open eyes and ears for interesting opportunities in our new global multi-media economy. Enjoy the journey, Katie.
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