When I Grow Up …
The realities of following your dreams
If you have children, do they know what they want to be when they grow up? If you don’t have a child, cast your mind back a few years. What did you want to be when you were little?
I read an outstanding blog post today by an American writer, M. Molly Backes. A woman approached Backes and explained that her teenage daughter wanted to be a writer. She asked her what she could do to help her daughter succeed and feel supported. Backes’s answer was simple: Your daughter needs to write. A lot.
It’s so obvious it hardly seems worth saying; if you want to succeed, there is no “quick fix”. Practice is everything. But this article isn’t just a post about writing, or about being the mother of someone who wants to write. As a parent and teacher, I loved its practical suggestions of how to help a young person understand what “a career path” actually looks like.
The theme of it—how we encourage our children—seems simple enough, but Backes has some advice that is sometimes unconventional, but ultimately very loving.
Have a read here. What do you think? Among other things, she believes that parents have to let their children:
- Try hard and possibly fail
- Get bored
- Be alone
- Have secrets
- Make mistakes
And how about this for some general advice—for young and old, richer and poorer—no matter where you work or what you desire to do:
- Love what you do
- Avoid taking things personally
- Finish what you start
- Be kind to yourself
- Be supportive of others
Having found a career path that I am passionate about, I feel very privileged to work with many lovely parents and their children. I’d love to hear from you. What’s the best career advice you received as a child?