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Some Advice I'm Giving My Kid

Don't confuse credentials with competence. There are a great many lousy surgeons. There is an abundance of idiotic lawyers. Folks with MBA degrees make stupid business decisions. Every school has teachers the parent-grapevine warn others about. Credentials can be purchased. Competence cannot.

Even your dream job will have parts that suck.

Don't let someone else's claim of, "That's so hard to do!" deter you from what you want to do. First of all, what's hard for some folks is a piece of cake for others. Second, why is "hard" something to avoid? Besides, if everyone else is looking to avoid "hard," there will be very little competition for those with the willingness to actually put in the work.

There is no such thing as a dead-end job, but a dead-end attitude is quite real. Don't confuse the two. Every job teaches you something, if your eyes, ears, and mind are open to it. Dead-end attitudes close all three of those things.

There is no one path to success, so just smile and nod when people start telling you what you must do with the first years of adulthood. Mostly, they will tell you college is mandatory if you want to make something of yourself. Really, that's a load of crap. If you want to be making six figures in four years, start training as a heavy equipment operator. (You'll be paid to train rather than paying for the training, too.) If you want to be starting your own business, you'll find excellent resources in the open marketplace. If you want to experience different cultures and understand diversity, travel on a budget and meet the world in its own home. If you want to learn, read books and find mentors and ask questions and try new things and treat boredom as a void to be filled with coolness. And if you want to go to college because YOU want to pursue a career that requires a degree, by all means do that, too.

You can change your mind about just about any decision at any time, but you shouldn't then whine about the fact there are consequences to making changes. Everything has consequences, my son. Adults who rant about the unfairness of that truth must have had either a very sheltered upbringing, or are accustomed to making someone else bear the consequences for them.

How a person treats the restaurant busboy tells you more about her/his character than how she/he treats you. Make relationship decisions accordingly.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Sep. 16th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC)
Adults who rant about the unfairness of that truth must have had either a very sheltered upbringing, or are accustomed to making someone else bear the consequences for them.


or are raised with such a sense of personal privilege or entitlement that they get upset when everyone doesn't leap to accommodate them because they exist. (This is, I think, why the second and third generations of wealthy people turn out to be such monsters.)
blairmacg
Sep. 16th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
Yes!
queenoftheskies
Sep. 16th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
Awesome advice.
harvey_rrit
Sep. 16th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
You have reminded me of the unexpectedly honest term "criminal lawyer".

(Also "abnormal psychologist".)
elenbarathi
Sep. 16th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
*applauds* Excellent advice! Is it all right to pass this around?
blairmacg
Sep. 16th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
Sure!
elenbarathi
Sep. 18th, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :-)
aanna_t
Sep. 16th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
So true
blairmacg
Sep. 16th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC)
HEY!! IT'S YOU! I'VE MISSED YOU!!

(Why, yes, I am shouting and waving my arms and making a fool of myself. :)

I hope all is going well!
aanna_t
Sep. 16th, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha

**dances you around the room**

I'm here: just quiet =)

Edited at 2013-09-16 08:31 pm (UTC)
blairmacg
Sep. 17th, 2013 02:47 am (UTC)
It's always good to hear from you. And dancing should be done at every opportunity. :)
(Anonymous)
Oct. 5th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Love this. Last night I was just thinking about how if something is difficult it clears out a lot of the traffic on your path.
blairmacg
Oct. 5th, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
It does indeed reduce the competition.

If you're interested sometime, Google for Mike Rowe (the "Dirty Jobs" guy) and "work smarter, not harder." My son found much truth in his words.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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