I have known Andrew’s family for decades. Andrew’s dad is a retired government engineer while the mother is a retired teacher. Andrew has 3 siblings. This is a family that almost worshiped academic excellence. Academics is just about everything for them. Anything lower than an A is almost taboo in the family. Two of Andrew’s siblings are advocates and his youngest sister is undertaking her Masters degree in Finance. Andrew however, has been different. He loved extra curricular activities such as sports and music and has always struggled with academics. He got a grade B in is KCSE exams and his father hit the roof! He was forced to pursue engineering in a private university, even though he really protested that he did not want to become an engineer.
Formal Career Path Not For Everyone
Life at the university was challenging for Andrew. He could not cope with the demands of the course and his father would hear nothing about him changing courses. He made him understand that none of his children would ever pursue useless degrees, not even over his dead body! He told him that if he quit the degree program, they would have to sit down and calculate how much the father had spent on his education so far, and Andrew would have to repay him! Andrew started abusing alcohol while in the first year at university. His parents knew nothing about it since he was living at the university and only came home from time to time. He was able to cover his tracks. By the end of the first year, he had failed several papers and needed to resit them. He developed cold feet at the time of resitting the papers so he did not do the exams. He was discontinued. Andrew was able to survive by doing odd jobs here and there. He never told his parents that he was no longer pursuing the degree course. Until it was time to prepare for graduation and of course Andrew was not going to be on the list of graduants. His parents learned about it in the most painful way possible. Andrew was found dead in mysterious circumstances. The autopsy report ruled that he had committed suicide.
The World Is Changing Fast
We are living in a world that is changing rapidly. Decades ago, excelling in academics was just about the only way known to become successful. Failing in school was almost an assurance that one was headed for a life of failure, with no chance of making anything worthwhile out of one’s life. The period after 2000 has seen the world experience rapid change. One of the changes is the Internet, which has connected the world. Another change is in the world of work. The likes of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and others who dropped out of the school system to pursue their dreams and succeeded more than the average person could ever dream of, marked a turning point in the way people earn a living in the 21st century. And in Kenya, athletes have earned themselves large sums of money that traditional career paths have no chance of producing. Sportsmen and women, musicians, artists, comedians and so many others are able to build very successful and fulfilling careers.
Parents Need To Change The Message They Give Their Children
Parents are the first people who instill values in children. Others are teachers, religious leaders, peers and society at large. Can the values our parents instilled in us about earning a living be passed on to our children today? Recently a friend of mine and I were having small talk over a cup of coffee. We got to talking about our journey as parents in today’s world. Both of us have adult children. I told her that my children have deviated from the traditional career path, probably because we as a family put so much emphasis on talent development from the time the children were very young. She told me that the prestigious career paths that parents have praised so highly for as long as we can remember no longer pay as well as they used to. The unfortunate thing is that many children still grow up with a closed mind, believing that those career paths are the key that unlocks the world of success. Just listen to top candidates in national exams being interviewed about their dreams and you will get an idea what I am talking about. Today, someone who pursues a career in web design, software development, acting, comedy or some other nontraditional career path is more likely to enjoy long term success than one who pursues the traditional career path. The traditional career path is still admired by many but the outcomes are not always as rosy as is expected.
Talent Mixed With Financial Literacy = Financial Freedom
Everyone is talented in something. Even for those who believe that they have no talents, they only need to dig deeper to discover talents they never imagined existed. If talents are nurtured well and monetized, they can be used to create very fulfilling careers.
Earn Money From Your Hobbies
What about hobbies? What do we do with our hobbies? How many people for example can take nice photos for fun? Photography is a hobby that can be monetized. Keep in mind that success is not given to anyone on a silver platter; you’ve got to work for it. Just about everyone can take a photo but very few people can take really nice ones. If you would like to earn some money through photography, you will have to be good at it and that takes learning and practicing. Learn how to take professional photos and you will be able to create a stream of income doing that.
Writing is a very fulfilling career. Much of the content we see online is written by people who are paid to write. If you learn how to write professionally (pay for training if need be), you will be able to create a rewarding career for yourself as a writer.
Nowadays just about every smartphone is able to record videos. Creating and editing videos can be turned into a career. Just visit sites such as Youtube and you will get an idea how big the video market is.
Web Design is another nontraditional career path that can be very rewarding. Online content is limitless and all of it is designed by web designers. Don’t let the fact that there are free templates discourage you. There are very many people who have no time or who lack the skills to design their own websites, even using templates that are readily available.
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This article is written By Susan Catherine Keter, Network Marketing Professional, life coach, personal development mentor and blogger.