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Old 06-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #41
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Has he taken any of those tests that help point to careers that would correlate with his personality/answers or read What Color is My Parachutte? While I wouldn't let that influence my direction too much, it is another data point to consider.

That said, I agree with the concept of doing something you like doing and that there is demand for in the marketplace, with not too many chasing the same.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:50 PM   #42
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This "do what you love" nonsense is way overplayed. I blame it on the baby boomer zeitgeist. Maybe your kid will be in the small % of people that actually make a living from something they love, but most people I know do not "love" what they do, so I think the odds are against that. Personally, I would rather keep the things that I love as hobbies, and not work, because even fun things can become tiresome if you have to do them all the time.

More realistic advice is to tell your kid to find the intersection of these elements:

1. What are you good at?
2. What do you like to do?
3. What will people pay you to do?

For me, this process involved part-time work in HS, part-time work in college, and internships every summer until I graduated.
This is good advice.
I'd also suggest if your child hasn't made up their mind yet, when they're graduating high school, that it's not the end of the world to take a year or two before going to college. Get a job, and find out what's available if you don't go to college. For me, that meant working as a file clerk for an insurance company... I swear the movie 9 to 5 was based on my workplace... I realized pretty darn quick that being smart and able wasn't going to get me a living wage in a non-menial job. That I needed that piece of paper... I was much more motivated in college knowing that the alternative was crappy jobs. It also made me consider engineering - something I had discounted when I was first considering majors in High School.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:00 AM   #43
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This "do what you love" nonsense is way overplayed. I blame it on the baby boomer zeitgeist. Maybe your kid will be in the small % of people that actually make a living from something they love, but most people I know do not "love" what they do, so I think the odds are against that. Personally, I would rather keep the things that I love as hobbies, and not work, because even fun things can become tiresome if you have to do them all the time.

More realistic advice is to tell your kid to find the intersection of these elements:

1. What are you good at?
2. What do you like to do?
3. What will people pay you to do?

For me, this process involved part-time work in HS, part-time work in college, and internships every summer until I graduated.
These are very good questions to ask, but difficult to answer by a near-adult with very little life experience. Most adults can't even answer such questions. The process is actually one of elimination. Over time (decades?), most people learn what they're not good at, what they don't like to do, and what people won't pay them to do. The key is finding a shortcut to these answers without wasting so much time (and earning potential?).
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:52 PM   #44
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On the subject of "career guidance" tests: the daughter of a friend of mine just took one in a California high school. The restults came back and recommended she become ... a party clown. True story. The girl was devastated.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:03 PM   #45
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On the subject of "career guidance" tests: the daughter of a friend of mine just took one in a California high school. The restults came back and recommended she become ... a party clown. True story. The girl was devastated.
You would think the parents would be even more devastated.
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:29 PM   #46
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On the subject of "career guidance" tests: the daughter of a friend of mine just took one in a California high school. The restults came back and recommended she become ... a party clown. True story. The girl was devastated.
For some people, anything that gets you thinking about a career could be potentially helpful, but in reality for me anyways, I hold those tests in as much regard as the tests where the kids would pay a dollar to take a test to find the most suitable person in school to be your " date match".
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:08 PM   #47
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On the subject of "career guidance" tests: the daughter of a friend of mine just took one in a California high school. The restults came back and recommended she become ... a party clown. True story. The girl was devastated.
After nearly 20 years in the submarine force, my "career guidance" tests came back for "nuclear engineer" and "mid-level manager".

I decided that I'd rather be a party clown.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:37 PM   #48
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On the subject of "career guidance" tests: the daughter of a friend of mine just took one in a California high school. The restults came back and recommended she become ... a party clown. True story. The girl was devastated.
One has to use some interpretation on those results. I remember one test that said I should become a farmer. Huh? I had absolutely no interest in that!

In hindsight I think the result was based on the other characteristics that I like to work alone, that I liked being outside, and I loathed the idea of working in an office. (That last one changed when I got closer to 40 and after 18 years of rotating shift work.)

So a career as a police officer also met those criteria.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:08 PM   #49
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After nearly 20 years in the submarine force, my "career guidance" tests came back for "nuclear engineer" and "mid-level manager".

I decided that I'd rather be a party clown.


Lot's of good advice on this thread. I am about to email my Niece about career planning (if she wants a sounding board) so this is timely. She finished her 1st year of Astronomy but got a D in calc.

I was on the swim team in highschool with a guy that became a career clown for the circus after completing college.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:45 PM   #50
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After nearly 20 years in the submarine force, my "career guidance" tests came back for "nuclear engineer" and "mid-level manager".

I decided that I'd rather be a party clown.
My career test came back with "party animal", but somehow I ended up as an engineer and mid level manager.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:44 PM   #51
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My career test came back with "party animal", but somehow I ended up as an engineer and mid level manager.
I started my career as a "party animal" who had to leave the party to shower and go to work. Never took one of those tests, didn't need it.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:04 PM   #52
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My career test came back with "party animal", but somehow I ended up as an engineer and mid level manager.
That's a distinction without a difference!
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:27 AM   #53
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Be willing to relocate to anywhere in the world. Get into a high-paying blue collar job (oil fields maybe?). Save every dime and work tons of overtime for 4-7 years. Then quit. If you still have the itch for it, go to college and get a few degrees for fun in something you're interested in. Get a part-time job to pay living expenses while in school. Max out the student loans and invest the "living expenses" money they give you into the stock market. Spend another 4-7 years in school while the money from the blue-collar nest egg compounds interest and you bank the student loan money.

Then retire on $30k/year, move to a state/country with free/subsidized low-income healthcare, sign up for IBR, never pay back the student loans, and do whatever you want.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:47 PM   #54
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Be willing to relocate to anywhere in the world. Get into a high-paying blue collar job (oil fields maybe?). Save every dime and work tons of overtime for 4-7 years. Then quit. If you still have the itch for it, go to college and get a few degrees for fun in something you're interested in. Get a part-time job to pay living expenses while in school. Max out the student loans and invest the "living expenses" money they give you into the stock market. Spend another 4-7 years in school while the money from the blue-collar nest egg compounds interest and you bank the student loan money.

Then retire on $30k/year, move to a state/country with free/subsidized low-income healthcare, sign up for IBR, never pay back the student loans, and do whatever you want.
I wish I had this advice when I was young. Great recipe for a confirmed slacker.

What is IBR?

Ha
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:20 PM   #55
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My parents advised me "never buy consumer goods on Hire Purchase" (the local term for financing it). That was good advice.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:24 AM   #56
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My advise from my little world...If your child does not have a burning desire for a special field, (astronomer, etc), then go to school and get a good basic degree...business administration, etc. I would counsel them to go into the military as an officer, (enlisted sucks, been there done that). You can have it all, then. The apron strings get cut, adventure in the real world, good pay and benefits with the chance to even change jobs if you wish. He/she could do a career or get out with some of the best training in the world and go corporate. Or even be frugal...saving dryer sheets and not ever work again after only 20 years or so. Did I mention...benefits for life? While in the service, he/she could drive planes, subs, or blow all sorts of things up. Like a lot of people already did on these forums...

Many kids follow in their parents footsteps if there's a family business involved. The wealth gets passed down to the next generation...and the newest generation has it easier than the past generation. But I think most people on these forums do/did not have that chance and probably had to make it on their own.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:07 AM   #57
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This "do what you love" nonsense is way overplayed. I blame it on the baby boomer zeitgeist.
I agree with you somewhat (as an early boomer), but must say that all boomers did not share in this "sham". Who you speak of are those of the "privileged class" (as many on this forum are - sorry, but true).

Sorry, but I received my physical/draft notice at the age of 18 (daddy/mommy had no responsibility nor cared about my "future", during my childhood or after I had my "own life" upon leaving home after leaving for the military, never to return to my "home" for more than a few nights).

For more than 40 years, I was only in it for the money, and how my families (DW/DS) were taken care of. While my mother/father could care less, I leaned from their lack of concern.

I had no time to "do what I love"; I had a real life (and real responsibilities) to take care of. I was (and still am) "the man" for my little family.

BTW, this being "Fatherís Day"? Mine sucked. Even though he's been gone for many years, I have no good memories at all; he made my life hell (thanks for letting me vent)Ö
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:17 PM   #58
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What is IBR?

Ha
Income Based Repayment. It is a government program that allows you to repay your loans based on a percentage of income. After 25 years your remaining unpaid indebtedness is forgiven.

We participate (DW and I). Knocks a few thousand a year off our student loan payments while we are both working, and will likely mean we pay nothing when we ER in 4-5 years. Then in 24 more years whatever we haven't paid is forgiven.

Even better is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. 10 years of income based repayment while working in government or non-profit and then all remaining student loan debt is forgiven.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:36 PM   #59
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Regarding the "Do what you love" advice. . .

I have a friend who has a 16 yr old son. The son was having a bad day (or maybe really just having a "16 yr old boy" kind of day) and was ranting about how he hated everything and everyone.

My friend asked him to think about what he loved.

His answer was "Getting stoned and playing video games".

I don't think that field actually pays very well.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:04 AM   #60
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Further, the advice I'd give is that it's not about what you make, but what you keep and save.

Teaching him to spend less than he earns and have a healthy savings rate, regardless of chosen profession, will eventually make him wealthy.
I think this is really the key. Or my favorite Hawaiian saying "two ways to be rich earn more desire less."

As for following your passion, I'm going to disagree with Steve Jobs et al.

Let's face it a lot of fun jobs don't pay very well. In some case like writing, acting, rock bands, they don't even pay starvation wages unless you are near the top. Even superstar social workers or horse trainers don't make a ton of money.

On the other hand there a lot of mundane jobs that pay very well. I doubt there are many teenagers that want to grow up to be middle managers at GE, or WalMart.

My dad spent most of his career as pharmaceutical salesman . Whatever passion he had for the job evaporated after his firm was bought out by Bristol Myer and he got a couple of young ambitious bosses. I think he was a decent salesman and able to turn on the charm but he was basically an introvert and I think sales and corporate politics were tough for him.

His real passions were woodworking and flying. My dad was real handyman able to add rooms to our house and friends and relatives and even build whole house. He also was master craftsman able to turn out beautiful custom furniture rapidly. By the time he was 50, he had managed to get his sales job down to something he could do in 6 hours a day. This gave him time to combine both his passions and start building a beautiful wooden aircraft. At 55 he took an early retirement and more or less did built the airplane full time for 5 years.

He didn't really retire with enough money (certainly by forum standards). He reluctantly took my money when I had make some furniture for me. Several times I urged to get in the custom furniture business since several my Silicon Valley friends had admired his work and wanted him to make furniture for the. I figure if just charged what the high end furniture stores charge he could make a decent living. Finally he told that he really had no interest in doing so because he was sure the pressure of turning his passion into a business would ruin the fun.

I also know of plenty of folks that started out in high tech and now have a side business/career involved with music. I think we have some on the forum also. I think for most of these guys it is probably better they earned money first which allowed them the freedom to pursue their passion.

I think it is truly a fortune person who can combine both.
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