Preparing Your Kids for Jobs

Your kids probably still vacillate between being a fireman, a ballerina, an astronaut, or a police officer. It’s not likely that they have come to you, all excited, and announced that when they grow up, they want to be the one who runs an entire farm using automated machinery or the one installing neural interfaces into people who desire a constant connection to the web.

Career and job options in the last 50 years have changed drastically as technology has swiftly and ruthlessly carved new methods of doing things into age-old and traditional occupations. As parents, we have seen the dramatic changes ourselves, and for our kids, the changes promise to come ever more quickly and unpredictably. How do you prepare your children for a working world that might be nearly unrecognizable to you?

Although the basic human needs will always need to be satisfied (i.e. food, water, shelter, and companionship), the ways we go about it may be very different in the next few decades. A New Jersey real estate agent might be buying and selling properties in Dubai without ever meeting the sellers or the buyers. Massive changes in agricultural technology have already put machinery into the fields that used to bustle with seasonal farm hands.

If there is one thing that all these innovations in industry and commerce should have taught us by now, it’s that the capacity for flexibility is paramount. Fortunately, there are ways to effectively teach flexibility and adaptability, even if you don’t feel you can predict what career choices your kids will have. Training them early through games, household chores, and regular play in how to solve problems by using the objects and ideas around them as tools and stepping stones will get them into the mindset that they can accomplish anything by studying, thinking, and experimenting enough. Mistakes should be made perfectly acceptable in order to enhance learning. Innovators are born from the attitude of acceptance of trial and error.

Like any loving parent, you want the best for your children. By being a partner in their learning, celebrating the creative process instead of punishing mistakes, and encouraging them in their efforts to try new things, you will prepare them for the kind of fast-paced inventiveness and ingenuity they will need to succeed in the future work environment.

My name is Lance and I love learning and writing about anything really. I do everything from rock climbing to snowboarding to building websites.

Photo credit: hortongrou

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