When the people over at Barbie emailed me about their “I Can Be” campaign, I wasn’t planning on blogging about voting for Barbie’s next career. After all, this is a manly dad blog, not a girly mom blog. Plus I already blogged about how I was magically changed into a Barbie girl and I really didn’t want to write any more about Barbie.
Then I noticed one of Barbie’s job choice is computer engineer. Guess what? I have a degree in computer engineering. However, if I had to do it all over again, I would have gotten a degree in computer programming instead. In general, the hardware side pays better, but I think the software side is more interesting (think apps). And this brings up the the real topic of this blog post, how do you help your kids decide what their career should be?
My parents were not exactly helpful when I was deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. My mom was a seamstress and my dad was a cook. They had no career advice for me. OK, there was that one time my dad thought I should follow in his footsteps and become a cook at a Chinese restaurant. That shows how little my dad knew me because I can’t cook. Not back then, not now. No one in their right mind would ever pay me to cook them a meal from scratch. And why would I want to work 60 hours a week for $12,000 a year?
Back in high school, I had no idea what engineers did. But that’s what most of my friends wanted to be, so I chose engineering too. Wrong move on my part. I found most of my engineering courses boring and it was reflected in my grades, but I was too proud to change major. I should have explored what I wanted to be instead of what my friends wanted to be (it’s a good thing they didn’t want to be male strippers).
My oldest child is only nine, but I hope when the time comes, I’ll be able to help guide my kids instead of letting them blindly follow their friends. So, what career advice would you give your children?