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snickerplum
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Also I'd examine the difference between work that

doesn't pay well that is "cheap and plentiful" (ie daycare work) vs work that doesn't pay well because very few people can be successfully employed in that field at all (ie synchronized swimming athlete).

 

ETA: these two types could be successfully combined. One type "needs a day job" and the other type make excellent day jobs for people with non-remunerative passions.

 

 

Aries wants to be a you tuber. which is great. i set him up with cheap video equipment to help him get started. however, he needs to also learn a trade. 

 

i worked in childcare because i loved it so much. i worked a LOT. 3-4 jobs at a time. i didn't get paid much, but i also didn't have much time off to spend money, and i loved my job. i'd much rather work on the weekends than go out. for me, it was viable. i went to nursing school and HATED it. my first day on the ward, i came home, sat on my bathroom floor and wept because i had made a terrible mistake. but the pay was good. 

 

i'd much rather my children have a lower-paying job they love, than one that pays well and hurts their soul. 

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My undergrad degrees are in creative writing and philosophy. They aren't particularly marketable(my parents were against the philosophy degree but they still seem to believe one can have a good career writing books. They are STEM professionals though and are rather clueless about anything else).

Yet, frankly, I am making more money than my friends with practical majors such as IT and teaching. My husband does custom woodworking on the side and could easily support us well doing that, but prefers to leave it as a hobby. We will never be rich, but we earn above the median in our LCOL area and we are careful with our money. We bought a fixer upper before we had kids and are slowly making it nice. Everything is a trade off, but we are okay financially, even without the STEM degrees.

 

I don't plan to steer my kids toward anything. A degree is useful period in this day and age, and as long as they can pay their bills, there's nothing wrong with a simple life.

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Aries wants to be a you tuber. which is great. i set him up with cheap video equipment to help him get started. however, he needs to also learn a trade. 

 

 

Yes, one of my sons mentioned you tubing as a future career idea. I said that the career would actually be called "entertainment/media/video" and slapping up a video on you tube wasn't a career. By the time he's a teen there will be a different method of getting entertainment video out to the world.

 

If he wants to pursue excellence in performing arts, so that he could produce something original and worth broadcasting, I'm willing to support that. ;)

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Yes, one of my sons mentioned you tubing as a future career idea. I said that the career would actually be called "entertainment/media/video" and slapping up a video on you tube wasn't a career. By the time he's a teen there will be a different method of getting entertainment video out to the world.

 

If he wants to pursue excellence in performing arts, so that he could produce something original and worth broadcasting, I'm willing to support that. ;)

 

I pointed out that media platforms are changing with increasing frequency, and you tube may no longer be a thing by the time he's ready to be self-supporting. He did not like that conversation. 

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i'd much rather my children have a lower-paying job they love, than one that pays well and hurts their soul. 

 

 

THIS so much!

 

 

If one can live and pay their own bills then the work should be theirs to choose. I don't think it's my place to insert a required income level. Similarly, I don't think it's my place to insert owning a home or having a family as life goals. If my dc had stated life goals that did not match career income potential, I might advise where there might be a short fall, but dc would need to figure out how to overcome said shortfall. 

 

I have a friend who went to art school. She got a job as a graphic designer and supported her boyfriend while he got an MFA in painting. She had the job with benefits for years. Later they moved to a higher COL to be near her mom. They married He got a job in computer illustration with benefits and she did her own thing (designing furniture, painting murals, now she has a video production thing). 

 

They own a townhouse in this high COL area. They have no dc--never wanted dc. She's everyone's aunt. She travels all over the world. 

 

She worked very hard from the get go, constantly reinvented her work, but has always been self supporting in art. 

 

If someone had forced her to get a practical degree, I'm sure she would have suffered major depression and been quite awful at her job. I doubt that she would have ever earned enough to own a house. 

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Aries wants to be a you tuber. which is great. i set him up with cheap video equipment to help him get started. however, he needs to also learn a trade. 

 

i worked in childcare because i loved it so much. i worked a LOT. 3-4 jobs at a time. i didn't get paid much, but i also didn't have much time off to spend money, and i loved my job. i'd much rather work on the weekends than go out. for me, it was viable. i went to nursing school and HATED it. my first day on the ward, i came home, sat on my bathroom floor and wept because i had made a terrible mistake. but the pay was good. 

 

i'd much rather my children have a lower-paying job they love, than one that pays well and hurts their soul. 

 

This is why I have my children do practical work or volunteering in the area of their career interests. You aren't the only one who has a degree in a field they hate work in. However, with an actual nursing degree, there are a ton of other health care careers related to nursing that are both financially viable and still deal with a helping profession. I worked with a lot of nurses who hadn't been in a ward since their school days. Perhaps you were in a small community with few options at the time, but there are options without having to completely abandon the field of nursing.

Edited by wintermom
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Aries wants to be a you tuber. which is great. i set him up with cheap video equipment to help him get started. however, he needs to also learn a trade. 

 

i worked in childcare because i loved it so much. i worked a LOT. 3-4 jobs at a time. i didn't get paid much, but i also didn't have much time off to spend money, and i loved my job. i'd much rather work on the weekends than go out. for me, it was viable. i went to nursing school and HATED it. my first day on the ward, i came home, sat on my bathroom floor and wept because i had made a terrible mistake. but the pay was good. 

 

i'd much rather my children have a lower-paying job they love, than one that pays well and hurts their soul. 

dudeling said the same  thing. wants a career doing videos on youtube.    'what are you going to do that people will want to watch you?  you have to have viewers, so what will you do?'

he just sort of stared at me.

 

Yes, one of my sons mentioned you tubing as a future career idea. I said that the career would actually be called "entertainment/media/video" and slapping up a video on you tube wasn't a career. By the time he's a teen there will be a different method of getting entertainment video out to the world.

 

If he wants to pursue excellence in performing arts, so that he could produce something original and worth broadcasting, I'm willing to support that. ;)

 

I pointed out that media platforms are changing with increasing frequency, and you tube may no longer be a thing by the time he's ready to be self-supporting. He did not like that conversation. 

 

good thing to point out.

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This is why I have my children do practical work or volunteering in the area of their career interests. You aren't the only one who has a degree in a field they hate work in. However, with an actual nursing degree, there are a ton of other health care careers related to nursing that are both financially viable and still deal with a helping profession. I worked with a lot of nurses who hadn't been in a ward since their school days. Perhaps you were in a small community with few options at the time, but there are options without having to completely abandon the field of nursing.

i actually didn't finish my degree in that field. i took a nontraditional route. for that i am grateful. it was easier to walk away at that point than to try to force myself into a field where i clearly did not belong. 

 

i went back to school for something i actually enjoyed, where i do belong. another helping field. i've been home full time with the kids though, so i've not used it at all. for me personally, college ended up being a very expensive hobby. one which we are still paying off. fully debt free except massive student loans. 

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The truth is if you get a STEM degree and you aren't any good, you could be less employable than the history major who is absolutely passionate about history. If you start looking around there are places to volunteer, as well as get internships to build a resume that could morph into a job. That path may not be obvious for the history major (or dance major or classics major), but it's there. And if they don't initially find a job in field, they've still got a resume that shows they are hard workers. For that reason I may encourage trying to add something obviously marketable. (again that's up to my dc to decide to do not me). If one is in college majoring in history, GIS classes would be a nice add on to history, but can also land a decent paying job on its own. Or just getting Microsoft applications certification can land a decent paying, benefits included admin job. One does not need to work part time minimum wage just because they didn't land a job in their field. And those little admin jobs can be the foot in the door to so many things.

 

So, no I won't tell my kids what to study.

This!

 

My husband is an engineer and his number one most valuable employee has a masters in Art History and a law degree.

Edited by amy g.
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i actually didn't finish my degree in that field. i took a nontraditional route. for that i am grateful. it was easier to walk away at that point than to try to force myself into a field where i clearly did not belong. 

 

i went back to school for something i actually enjoyed, where i do belong. another helping field. i've been home full time with the kids though, so i've not used it at all. for me personally, college ended up being a very expensive hobby. one which we are still paying off. fully debt free except massive student loans. 

 

Thousands of college students do this every year, I'm sure. It seems to be the approach to college is the "panic" stage to choose a pathway that is going to be financially viable and interesting to the individual. Sadly, few people find out what the career actually is before entering the program.  This is still a huge weakness for colleges and universities.

 

Ds and I went to visit a local university engineering program open-house last month. Every single student I asked didn't know what engineering really was before they entered the program. They were good at math and sciences and chose the program based on that. These were the students that actually stayed in the program, but I'm sure most of the ones who already changed programs were the same way. They just didn't have a clue about what the actual work and program was all about before choosing it. 

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i'd much rather my children have a lower-paying job they love, than one that pays well and hurts their soul. 

 

Ditto.  I see too much of the latter and it really seems like such a wasted lifetime to me.  When it comes up in conversation they seem to feel the same way - very wistful about what could have been.

 

I am helping my dc earn undergrad degrees. They are choosing their majors. 

 

...

 

I am firmly against having my dc be 30 years down the road still wondering what if. So, they major in what they want. They know they have to find a job. 

 

...

 

The truth is if you get a STEM degree and you aren't any good, you could be less employable than the history major who is absolutely passionate about history. 

 

...

 

So, no I won't tell my kids what to study. 

 

Ditto, ditto, ditto, and ditto.  Then I'll add I absolutely love seeing what they've discovered for themselves.  It makes a mama's heart smile in gratitude to see their youngsters enjoying what they are doing in life.  Money and perceived prestige sure doesn't = happiness or contentment and the latter is worth so much more to us.

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It would really depend.  There are different kinds on non-remunerative jobs, and different kinds of people.  What counts as "low" makes a difference, to begin - low as in no money, or low as in below average?

 

A job with a lower income, but stable and likely to include regular  employment is different than a job where almost no one gets work or where income is very unstable.

 

A child who wants a family or a particular lifestyle is different than one who is going to be happy to live in a cabin alone.

 

Someone who is more passive may be different than someone who will really take a skill to a different level.  A hairdresser working in a ow-end shop will have a lower income - another person with the same certification could own several shops or work in industry and it would be a different thing altogether.

 

Someone working on, say, a small farm, might have a low income but be able to support himself more directly and own his own job.

 

I think the main thing is to discuss these realities with the actual person making the decision, and also looking at other lifestyle issues.  What does this mean about the places you could live?  What does it mean for family life?  Some high income jobs might also mean sacrificing family life, or living in a few HCOL areas away from extended family.

 

 

 

 

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Ds and I went to visit a local university engineering program open-house last month. Every single student I asked didn't know what engineering really was before they entered the program. They were good at math and sciences and chose the program based on that.  

 

This is why our high school requires shadowing someone in a potentially desired profession junior year.  It doesn't have to be a "college degree necessary" experience.  Some kids come back knowing that's what they want.  Some kids come back actively looking for something else.  Either way, it's a superb idea.

 

However, many kids also change their mind in college simply because their eyes get opened to far more things once they are there.  They may find their "competition" tougher than they expected and realize they won't be good at something comparatively.  They may find another field they didn't know existed before and opt to go that direction instead.  They may decide they want more free time than some careers allow once they find a potential mate.  There are oodles of reasons.  What's important is that they hone in on something they truly want, not that they know "for sure" when they come in.  I tell students to pick something they think they might enjoy, then keep your eyes open to all the possibilities once there.  I've heard a lot of positive feedback from that usually starting with "You were right!  I didn't know about ___ and now I love it.  This is what I plan to do."

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This is why our high school requires shadowing someone in a potentially desired profession junior year.  It doesn't have to be a "college degree necessary" experience.  Some kids come back knowing that's what they want.  Some kids come back actively looking for something else.  Either way, it's a superb idea.

 

However, many kids also change their mind in college simply because their eyes get opened to far more things once they are there.  They may find their "competition" tougher than they expected and realize they won't be good at something comparatively.  They may find another field they didn't know existed before and opt to go that direction instead.  They may decide they want more free time than some careers allow once they find a potential mate.  There are oodles of reasons.  What's important is that they hone in on something they truly want, not that they know "for sure" when they come in.  I tell students to pick something they think they might enjoy, then keep your eyes open to all the possibilities once there.  I've heard a lot of positive feedback from that usually starting with "You were right!  I didn't know about ___ and now I love it.  This is what I plan to do."

 

Yes, this is certainly true, but how much research do most young people actually do before entering a program? Did they talk to current students and find out which courses are the typical tough ones; what the atmosphere of the program is like; what study habits help students succeed; what the internships involve if they are available; what career prospects are available? I'm guessing too few actually do this before they enter college.

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Yes, this is certainly true, but how much research do most young people actually do before entering a program? Did they talk to current students and find out which courses are the typical tough ones; what the atmosphere of the program is like; what study habits help students succeed; what the internships involve if they are available; what career prospects are available? I'm guessing too few actually do this before they enter college.

 

You might be surprised if you visit our high school.  College bound kids I talk with (either 4 year or 2 year) have often done quite a bit of research, esp as they choose schools to fit them.  I love listening to them.

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As long as they are clear on the pros and cons, it is their life.

 

 

Yes.  Of course.  I don't want to raise a little automaton whose role is to please me and who worships money and status. 

 

 

As long as it's enough to pay the cost of education and a modest budget to live on I wouldn't complain. I might privately be screaming my head off but I won't say it out loud (I hope! Man I hope I can hold my tongue if it comes to that in a few years).

 

All of the above. Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

But, the truth of that is that I live in TX. I've never seen a home in TX with a basement. 

 

 

 

LOL. Same here. In fact, if you tried to dig a basement in Florida you just might drown. :) I did tell ds that if we had a basement we wouldn't want him living in it unless he did so as a tenant.

 

 

 Or work in an animal rescue.   All jobs that'll earn you under $50,000 a year most of your life.  All passion projects.

 

 

Ds wants to work in either animal rescue or animal behavior. In animal behavior there seem to be two types of jobs - research and hands on. He's interested in hands on. Naturally that pays less than research (though research in any field comes with its own set of financial problems).

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I became a teacher because it was my passion. I knew going in the pay would not be lucrative. I loved what I was doing right up to the day I became a sahm. If we hadn't decided to homeschool I would have gone back once ds started school. OTOH, the reason I stayed home is because I made less than dh even though I have a college degree and he doesn't. If my job paid more he would have become a sahd.

 

... a career that you know does not pay well statistically, how do you feel about that? It's their dream, but most of the rewards will be praise from others and self satisfaction, not monetary compensation. Money is not everything in life, but it can be helpful. [emoji6] I would never discourage this career, but it also seems like setting this child up for struggles.


 

 

I actually gave something of the opposite advice to dss when he was in high school. He was trying to decide on a career based solely on what had the potential to make him rich (whatever his definition of rich was at age 16). I told him that if you hate your job all the money you could want won't make you happy. If you have to work most of your adult life you need to at least not hate what you do. Ideally you would actually like your job. In the end he chose a career that doesn't pay well, generally has decent benefits, and eventually catches up with you as your body ages. He and his nurse wife are able to own a home and raise their two boys not extravagantly but comfortably enough. He enjoys it now, but is currently in school for a different career. He's a firefighter/paramedic. 

 

It's important to remember that careers are not a lifetime commitment anymore. Long gone are the days where you work in one field for one company until you retire with the proverbial gold watch. Many people change careers more than once in a lifetime. 

 

Realistically, though I wouldn't discourage the career I'd make sure she's equipped with the knowledge of what her standard of living will likely be if she pursues it. It's not too early to start. If after she's armed with all the information she needs, she still decides this is what she wants to do, I'd support her. It's her life. As for paying, I won't hold a child (or young adult) hostage based on their career choice. Yes, I'd pay or help pay if I was financially able to do so.

 

I appreciate all of the responses. I wanted to see what everyone thought before getting specific. [emoji4]
Our oldest wants to dance professionally (ballet). She's good. And it's not just us as parents thinking our baby is special, we're being told she is good (teachers, directors, studio owners, etc). She's young still and has several years before we need to hammer down a college choice, but we're setting her on a path that will help her achieve her goals.
Unless she's part of a crazy nice company and a prima ballerina, she won't be earning anything close to $50,000.
She understands that this career is short lived and hopes to teach after she's "done". We've thought a business degree would be extremely beneficial, especially if she were to open her own studio. Who knows. She's 11. [emoji4]



 

 

You're right, she's young. A homeschool friend's daughter is a professional dancer and was much like your daughter at that age. She ended up going to dance school in NYC (I can't remember where but for some reason I seem to think it was SUNY). She had a scholarship. She's had several dance jobs and is currently a dancer at Universal Studios in Orlando. 

 

This might interest you and your dd.  Dancing for theme parks

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Almost everyone I work with professionally has an 'unmarketable' degree- French or Theater or English.   I am in corporate HR.

The business pays for people to go back and get a business degree, but the only ones who do are people who started work without one , typically in an admin or clerical role. 
So the business majors all work for the English majors, in my world.

 

 

My husband has an Engineering degree and THAT is very heirarchical.  The people who went to the top 10 engineering schools are the decision makers and designers; the people who went to lower tier schools are their tech helpers.

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Re: passions and music as a career.  I hired the choir director at our church. She holds a PhD.   She works every weekend and every holiday for us as a part time job.  She does get benefits (social justice in hiring) but really, she makes peanuts.  She had to do 4 rounds of interviews to get it and it was very competitive--- they all had PhDs!    She also teaches several classes at a university level at a famous Boston music college.  She has to drive 75 minutes to work each day because between her two jobs she can't afford to live near the university or church.  Which is fairly typical for working musicians, apparently.   Now THAT is job you do out of love. 

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It depends on what it was. If my DS wanted to be a professional pianist but wasn't gifted enough for Carnegie Hall, or wanted to be a "philosopher,"  I'd encourage him to pursue a double major and also become skilled in a more lucrative field. If he wanted to be a social worker, police officer, or similar, then we would not interfere. I wouldn't discourage the passion, but we need to be practical too. It doesn't have to be either/or. 

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I'd be excited for them, but have them look to the future.

 

What do you envision for yourself in the future? Do you hope for a dual income or single income family? If single income, are you going to be able to support a spouse on that? Really? Have you crunched the numbers? Do you know what your dad and I make? How much do houses cost in your preferred area?

 

For your family, do you want to be able to travel? If not, that's fine. Do you want to pay for sports or lessons for your kids? If not, that's fine. Do you want a large family or a small family? Does your preferred field offer health insurance as a matter of course?

 

There are many families just scraping by and I doubt that anyone wanted that for themselves when they started out. So if you want a family, how do you want that to look? Theres a big difference between having simple tastes and lifestyle and the possibility that car trouble, a medical bill, or some unexpected expense can upset your financial boat for months or years.

 

Young people struggle to think of these things. They often don't realize the difference in lifestyle that certain careers can bring and the effects on the future that those decisions can make.

 

For my kids, I encourage them that certain things are hobbies and can be fun but aren't vocations. You get a decently paying job to pay for your fun hobby.

 

I also encourage them to avoid borrowing money for college, particularly if they're going into a field that won't pay those loans off quickly.

 

There's nothing wrong with people being school teachers and police officers. If you avoid debt and live carefully, you can live comfortable (probably) two income lives in those types of fields.

 

But jobs like artist. Musician. etc. are not as stable or dependable.

 

I'd encourage my kids to do a double major if they wanted an artsy field.

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Yes, this is certainly true, but how much research do most young people actually do before entering a program? Did they talk to current students and find out which courses are the typical tough ones; what the atmosphere of the program is like; what study habits help students succeed; what the internships involve if they are available; what career prospects are available? I'm guessing too few actually do this before they enter college.

 

I'd encourage kids to talk to someone who works in that field before committing. At least at my dd's college the career advice is QUITE impractical.

 

And there's also the fact that many teens don't understand what they're hearing. If an advisor says that they can expect to make 35,000 in a field, that sounds like a lot to a young person who's not paid their own bills and made 5k last year. But they may not have the frame of reference to understand the standard of living that 35K jobs provide.

 

Also, one thing that we've run into is the assumption that many people make of the two income family. One income families are becoming less common and the assumption that advisors may have is that you'll expect both partners to work.

 

If that's not what a young person wants, then they need to plan accordingly.

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11 is really young, with dancing.  I think many 11 year olds want to be dancers, and not so many do five or six years later.  Even for the really "good" ones, things become clearer and many move on.

 

However, I do have a thought about the idea of doing a double major or other university course as some have suggested, as back-up.  Another possibility might be to not do any paid higher education and keep in mind that may have to happen later on after the career ends.  I've known of a few people who did that, mainly they came out of ballet schools on scholarships and went right into working.  Later, in the late 20s or early 30s they trained for a new career.  The advantage I think, over doing it the other way, is that they will have a better idea what might be employable and probably a much better idea what they would like and be good at.  And skills will be more current, too.

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It depends on what it was. If my DS wanted to be a professional pianist but wasn't gifted enough for Carnegie Hall, or wanted to be a "philosopher,"  I'd encourage him to pursue a double major and also become skilled in a more lucrative field. If he wanted to be a social worker, police officer, or similar, then we would not interfere. I wouldn't discourage the passion, but we need to be practical too. It doesn't have to be either/or. 

 

There is a lady in my city who did a philosophy degree from my LA collge.  She now owns a fair trade perfume company and credits her study of philosophy as the inspiration for her company.

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There is a lady in my city who did a philosophy degree from my LA collge.  She now owns a fair trade perfume company and credits her study of philosophy as the inspiration for her company.

 

A BS in Philosophy w/ MBA sounds like a smart combo. BS, MS, or PhD in Philosophy, no business or similar degree, and a thriving small business sounds like an outlier. 

Edited by Paige
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Yes, you're right about that for sure. It requires idealistic people not focused on money to enter those civil service jobs. (Firefighters too, their low pay is just criminal!)

 

Having been a teacher married to a clergyman... I actively encourage my kids to seek out more financially stable careers. I just can't bear to see them struggle like we have and do. Right now the boys are leaning towards scientist/Catholic priest, and pharmacist. I support those. I worry at the cost of seminary but I hear Catholic seminary is structured differently from Protestant seminaries, which are entirely paid for like normal grad school by students except for 4 years straight of studies rather than two. And I'm going to insist he make sure he's debt free if/when he enters seminary. Thank God the kid's insanely smart so he should be capable of going to undergrad on a full scholarship.

 

DH and I knew our careers early on, so we take our kids seriously when they express a desire for a career. And I will not let them delude themselves into thinking they can realistically grow up to be an artist or writer or something as their main career. We encourage hobbies and side jobs, but they'll need to have a main job to pay for food and housing as well. I just can't watch my kids in poverty and we'll likely never have the means to help because of our own poor career choices.

Our diocese loans to the seminarian and if he is ordained, the loans are forgiven. If/when he talks to the diocese about this, ask about the financial aspect. They're used to it.

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No one knows what is ahead of them and no learning is ever wasted so I counsel my kids to get an education that includes marketable skills beyond burger flipping no matter what their passion is.

 

Kid passionate about art?  Awesome.  Consider including classes in small business management because if you plan on having a studio, showing & selling your work, you are going to need some practical skills.  Same for future dance majors.  

 

Kid going to be the next JK Rowling?  Great!  Research those careers that will allow you time to practice your craft.  An English teaching degree could fit the bill.

 

Kid going to play video games for a living?  Of course you can!  As a computer programmer you can design your own video game or app.

 

Kid going to be a doctor, but has physical limitations that make the kind of stamina necessary to get through the years and years of medical school & medical internship necessary?  Let us discuss what makes that career so attractive to you and then research careers that you will find rewarding.

 

These are all examples of how I have counseled my kids.  It is a fine line to walk between supporting their dreams and being practical so they can support themselves and a family.  

 

We also try to teach them that happiness doesn't come from one source in life and there are many ways to be happy in one's family life, work life and individual life.

 

Amber in SJ

 

 

 

 

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I also tell my very young kids that people change their minds about what they want to be all the time.

 

Otherwise there would be many more ballerinas & astronauts in the world.

 

People even change their minds as adults. This isn't selling out.  This is life.  

 

Amber in SJ

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I will advise my children to marry money.

It's easier to have your passion job when you have a sugar daddy ;)

 

My husband and I laugh because I was in college and working as a barista and fiber artist when we met and he was the boring, stable engineer. I was just never going to be the one paying the bills, even if I finished my degree (which I didn't because babies!).

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I posted another thread about my dd wanting to be an actress. We have told her we aren't paying for a theater major in college; if she wants to major in theater she needs a double major in something she can find employment. I have a Masters degree in social work and undergrad in psychology. I knew the pay would be terrible, but I could always at least HAVE a job, in my field, with benefits. Unlike many theater majors i knew of who were still waiting tables at thirty, waiting for a big break, and often living the lifestyle that goes along with working in bars and restaurants. So to me it's not all about money (I come from a family of teachers and firefighters and police officers). But it is about having a reasonable chance of finding a steady, long term job. My dd is also 11.

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11 is really young, with dancing. I think many 11 year olds want to be dancers, and not so many do five or six years later. Even for the really "good" ones, things become clearer and many move on.

 

However, I do have a thought about the idea of doing a double major or other university course as some have suggested, as back-up. Another possibility might be to not do any paid higher education and keep in mind that may have to happen later on after the career ends. I've known of a few people who did that, mainly they came out of ballet schools on scholarships and went right into working. Later, in the late 20s or early 30s they trained for a new career. The advantage I think, over doing it the other way, is that they will have a better idea what might be employable and probably a much better idea what they would like and be good at. And skills will be more current, too.

That sounds like a great plan.

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This Harvard Business Review article is an interesting read. Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers https://hbr.org/2017/04/why-you-should-have-at-least-two-careers

 

"It’s not uncommon to meet a lawyer who’d like to work in renewable energy, or an app developer who’d like to write a novel, or an editor who fantasizes about becoming a landscape designer. Maybe you also dream about switching to a career that’s drastically different from your current job. But in my experience, it’s rare for such people to actually make the leap. The costs of switching seem too high, and the possibility of success seems too remote.

 

But the answer isn’t to plug away in your current job, unfulfilled and slowly burning out. I think the answer is to do both. Two careers are better than one. And by committing to two careers, you will produce benefits for both.

...

When you work different jobs, you can identify where ideas interact — and more significantly, where they should interact. “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing,†said Steve Jobs, who was the embodiment of interdisciplinary thinking."

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... a career that you know does not pay well statistically, how do you feel about that? It's their dream, but most of the rewards will be praise from others and self satisfaction, not monetary compensation. Money is not everything in life, but it can be helpful. [emoji6] I would never discourage this career, but it also seems like setting this child up for struggles.

 

 

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We take the stance that as long as it is legal, not hurting others, and they are happy and fulfilled we can get behind it and support it because we support them. So far our kids are a detective in our state police force, a surgery resident, and about to enter medical school in the fall. The next child in line will be off to college in the fall and we still have five more daughters at home.

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I appreciate all of the responses. I wanted to see what everyone thought before getting specific. [emoji4]

Our oldest wants to dance professionally (ballet). She's good. And it's not just us as parents thinking our baby is special, we're being told she is good (teachers, directors, studio owners, etc). She's young still and has several years before we need to hammer down a college choice, but we're setting her on a path that will help her achieve her goals.

Unless she's part of a crazy nice company and a prima ballerina, she won't be earning anything close to $50,000.

She understands that this career is short lived and hopes to teach after she's "done". We've thought a business degree would be extremely beneficial, especially if she were to open her own studio. Who knows. She's 11. [emoji4]

 

 

 

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I have a couple of fine arts kids.  DD12 is at a beginning college level in a fine arts field.  She's obviously very gifted at something which will be almost impossible to make a living off of.  Bummer.  It's like finding out your kid is a highly gifted circus juggler or something.  

 

We've talked about back-up plans.  She's talked about becoming a doctor and doing her art on the side as a hobby.  That sounds great, but it also sounds sad, because art is where her heart is.  It would be a compromise for her.    

 

If she decides to stick with art, there's always teaching, opening your own art school...at some point, people need high school art teachers, etc.  My parents have an older friend who actually was able to make a career with art.  He worked with a marketing team for a car company.

 

The thing about fine arts is they probably do need to make plans when they're younger - much younger than in other fields.  It takes a really long time to develop those fine arts skills.  

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I appreciate all of the responses. I wanted to see what everyone thought before getting specific. [emoji4]

Our oldest wants to dance professionally (ballet). She's good. And it's not just us as parents thinking our baby is special, we're being told she is good (teachers, directors, studio owners, etc). She's young still and has several years before we need to hammer down a college choice, but we're setting her on a path that will help her achieve her goals.

Unless she's part of a crazy nice company and a prima ballerina, she won't be earning anything close to $50,000.

She understands that this career is short lived and hopes to teach after she's "done". We've thought a business degree would be extremely beneficial, especially if she were to open her own studio. Who knows. She's 11. [emoji4]

 

 

 

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A few months ago someone on the board mentioned a guy who joined a major ballet company right after high school (having taken IB classes); danced for several years, while taking things like math classes at community college; when he needed to quit full time dance due to age (bad knees?  I forget) he applied to a major university in some sort of pre-med degree; since it was based on HIS salary (not his parents) by this point he got GREAT scholarships; and is now in med school.  Which was always the goal -- he knew his dance career would be short-lived, so he planned to make the most of it while he could.  

 

I thought that was brilliant.  And I finally understood why dancers often don't go straight to college after high school.

 

Note of interest to those with theatre kids -- dd's theatre school finds many of their students do well in law school.  The ability to analyze the minutiae of a script, looking for motivations, apparently serves them well.

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We will encourage our sons, especially, to go down career paths that will allow them to support a family so that if his wife doesn't want to work and stay home with the kids, it won't be such a burden.

 

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My eldest decided 3/4 of the way through her first year in engineering that she wanted to be a social worker. She'll graduate with a degree in social work next spring. She's been very diligent about researching what social workers get paid across the country and then comparing that to housing costs and general costs of living.

 

She knows that, as a social worker, she won't just be able to live wherever she wants. She'll choose an affordable place to live where social workers get paid decently. 

 

She plans to work for a couple of years after graduation and then go back for her masters degree. Eventually, she'd like to do private practice counselling, which should provide flexibility as well as a higher income.

 

I wasn't so much worried about her income, but I was a tad disappointed because she'd been so incredible at math. I might as well have just thrown a Saxon math book at her (kidding - Saxon people) instead of spending the hours and hours I spent researching different programs, setting up and keeping my math lab running, and helping her with Singapore, Russian Math and AoPS. I kind of thought that whatever she ended up doing, she'd make use of her ability and love of math. Oh well.

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We've talked about back-up plans. She's talked about becoming a doctor and doing her art on the side as a hobby. That sounds great, but it also sounds sad, because art is where her heart is. It would be a compromise for her.

 

If she decides to stick with art, there's always teaching, opening your own art school...at some point, people need high school art teachers, etc. My parents have an older friend who actually was able to make a career with art. He worked with a marketing team for a car company.

.

As the mother of a very driven harpist I wonder if the compromise would be playing for money. Having to use it for marketing and doing what others want you to rather than using it on your own terms. I know some may manage to keep their creative expression in it all but it seems a lot of it would be looking for demand, marketing to try to create demand, or using it for something else. Maybe I'm wrong but I think there would be more freedom for my daughter if she had a different job.

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We will encourage our sons, especially, to go down career paths that will allow them to support a family so that if his wife doesn't want to work and stay home with the kids, it won't be such a burden.

 

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We gave the opposite advice. Two of my three sons are interested in careers in the arts. (It wouldn't surprise me if the other one ended up there too.) We have suggested that they marry later and marry doctors. 😂😂😂😂😂 They just laugh at us!

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As the mother of a very driven harpist I wonder if the compromise would be playing for money .

When my kids were thinking of learning how to play the lap harp, I was quoted the below rates by a local harpist for lessons at her home. She does paid performances and events during weekends so lessons are weekdays only. Her hourly rates are higher for one kid than what I pay my kids local Chinese tutor for both kids.

 

"My rates for harp lessons are:

 

$43 for a 30-minute lesson

$59 for a 45-minute lesson

$75 for a 1-hour lesson"

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We will encourage our sons, especially, to go down career paths that will allow them to support a family so that if his wife doesn't want to work and stay home with the kids, it won't be such a burden.

 

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While we certainly have tried to show and model the importance of supporting your children financially and emotionally we do not agree that sole earner scenarios are always the responsibility of the male half of the couple.

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I should have quoted but this is in response to the price of tutoring.

 

We pay her harp tutor $50 an hour. That may sound like a living wage until you factor in a harp that is $20,000 and up. $500 and up just for a new set of strings and then there is maintenance and unless she has a spouse to cover it she won't have health insurance etc. Retirement, health insurance, vacation days that you would get at a regular job you won't get tutoring children. Also, good tutors actually prepare lessons for you so you are really getting more of their time than an hour.

She also is learning violin, guitar, and piano so she could keep fairly busy but it would work better as a supplemental income if she stayed home with children or something of that nature. Living off that would be tough without a spouses help. We use craigslist, hand me down instruments, etc but it kills us and my husband makes a lot more than she would. 

She already arranges music, could sell songbooks, play at weddings, but it still won't pay well unless she becomes fairly well known.

 

 

 

 

Edited because my phone likes to guess the wrong homonyms. 

Edited by frogger
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I know this is totally sexist, but I would probably be ok with it for a girl and would discourage it for a boy, since I think my sons will probably want to be capable of being breadwinners for a family and daughters hopefully won't need to. I would very strongly encourage a no-debt education, in any case.

 

 

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This is a complicated question without easy answers. I want my kids to be realistic about what life costs and what their lifestyle will be like at each income level.  I also want them to be able to follow their dreams and interests.  I think that means finding specialties in generalities- for example a child that wanted to work in a preK or elementary school would be encouraged to get into a specialty like speech pathology, that paid more than a general PreK teacher and also offered private practice, employment at local Dr. offices and hospitals as well as schools.   A kid who was interested in a trade like electrician would be encouraged to get certifited, and also take small business classes at the local CC- skills that could transfer to another job if the electrician thing failed, and would also be helpful in opening his own business one day.  Same for something like welding, auto mechanics, ect.  I think our goal is to make sure that they have a variety of skills that can be transferred tos everal different jobs, with as many employment opportuinites as possible.  I am also not a big fan of encouraging one type of job track- like a lawyer or Dr., even if the kid wants to, without them doing some interning and working in said field.  I would hate for them to spend years and thousands of dollars and wind up with a job that makes a lot of money, but that they don't enjoy.  NO matter what type of job my kids choose, I hope that they put a lot of effort into researching the lifestyle- Dr.s with crazy hours but get paid $$, teachers with summers off and good benefits, but lousy pay.  Jobs that will one day be obsolete, vs. jobs that will transfer to other fields.  Jobs you can do in small towns and large cities vs. just one of those.  

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While we certainly have tried to show and model the importance of supporting your children financially and emotionally we do not agree that sole earner scenarios are always the responsibility of the male half of the couple.

That's ok, you don't have to agree. :)

 

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I am pretty sure my son would give a rip about any of my advice about a chosen career.  He is who he is.  :0). That said, I *have* made it clear that he should not be deluded about how much money to expect from us.  We won't be "chipping in" to make ends meet.  Please God, we *also* will not be asking him to "chip in" to make *our* ends meet.  He will be the designee on the life insurance for the last one of us to go, which is not chicken-feed, but it isn't life-support either.  If anything is left after we go, some of it will come to him, but we have a bequest we wish to make, as well, and that is the bulk of our leavings.

 

Think this through, grasshopper.  

 

(Which is pretty much the way my parents talked to me.  I have been able to live into it, but when a sibling has not through no fault of his/her own, the parental units have been helpful to her.  They keep track, though, and the difference is reflected in the will, which cracks me up.). :0)

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