By Jasper Smith, GTA Instructor
I shared something with the students that I hope they will always remember… once you find your career (your passion, your calling), you will never work another day in your life. I told them how many people I know who work miserable jobs, primarily because it’s in their best interest to have that steady paycheck. Of course, finding your passion is important and sometimes you have to work some jobs while you’re on that journey. We went around the room, and I asked everyone to share with the entire class what they wanted to be when they grew up. In my class, we had the following career interests:
- Professional athlete (every one who said this also mentioned another career field since pro sports aren’t guaranteed)
- Instagram celebrity (oh how technology has changed the world)
- Didn’t have a clue
** I was a little sad that no one said Financial Planner…
My reason for having them share was two-fold. One, when you share your goals with others, they may be willing to help you achieve them. Second, you might find someone who has the same aspirations, thus they could become your accountability partner and a great friendship/partnership could form. As for those who “didn’t have a clue”, I expressed that’s it’s okay for them not to know. I shared that I didn’t know what I wanted to do after I graduated college, but I knew my degree would allow me to get a decent paying job. So having a job was okay, but I was searching to figure out what I really wanted to do with my career. I urged them to really think about what they’re good at doing, but also to remember what makes them happy.
As with any career discussion, the topic of money—and its influence on career choices—presented itself. For example, one student said while doctors are highly compensated, he didn’t want to have the responsibility of someone’s life in the palms of his hands. He needed a career where the stakes weren’t that high. One young lady mentioned that while she wouldn’t mind being a teacher, they don’t make enough money plus the stress level is ridiculous, thus she set her sights elsewhere. Depending on what career field you choose, you could run the risk of having a ton of debt before you even start making money, as is the case for many physicians and attorneys. Also, I asked the students about some jobs they would never do. Here’s the short list: sanitation engineer (aka garbagemen or janitors), drug dealer, prostitute, stripper. Bringing risk back into the equation, all of the students agreed that while drug dealing could result in some fast cash, risking their life was something that they could never bring themselves to do.
It’s amazing how fast time flies! The 10-weeks seemed like an eternity at the beginning, but that’s 5 classes now in the books!