The Lydster: Her career choices

barbara-jordan_congressI saved this Ask Roger Anything question, from Chris, until now:

Do you feel like you’re pushing your daughter towards certain career choices or letting her choose, or both? Do you think you’d be supportive of a career where it would be difficult for her to make a living, e.g. actress or musician?

Oh goodness, no. That’s a function of her needing to figure out what she wants to do. And honestly, I don’t have a strong sense of something I want her to do. I suppose I don’t want her to do something that involves a lot of danger.

Thinking about some of the things she has tried out:

Ballet – did it for two or three years, decided it wasn’t for her. But the lessons she learned have been useful, and she still likes to choreograph her own moves.

Soccer – she did youth soccer for three or four seasons, decided it wasn’t for her. So I was a bit surprised that she signed up for modified youth soccer this fall. What she learned before has come in handy.

Playing clarinet – her mother played, and she seemed to enjoy it. Moreover, I thought she got to be rather good at it, but she suddenly dropped it a couple of years ago. I was surprised when she pulled it out once this past summer. Maybe she’ll go back to it, maybe she won’t.

Things she’s interested in currently:

Art – she’s quite good at it, and she received some local awards for it. She DOES agonize over her work, though.

Clothing design – She’s been taking old clothes, cutting them up, stitching them together. Well not so much in the school year, but it was a business she wanted to look into this past summer.

Law – right now, she says she wants to be a lawyer. She sees injustice on the news on TV and wants to fix it. I wanted to be a lawyer for a time, so that would be fine.

One of the things that seems constant in this narrative is that everything learned has value. Maybe it won’t be applied directly, but it won’t go to waste.

Would I discourage her from a career path that might be difficult? No, and frankly, it would not have occurred to me. Now that I think of it, neither of my late parents EVER said, “you ought to do” X for a living. My father had a varied career, and I doubt it would have occurred to HIM. My mom was easygoing about those things, as long as we were happy and not involved in some criminal activity.


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

5 thoughts on “The Lydster: Her career choices”

  1. 🙂 nice. The only one who pushed me in any direction was my grandfather who told me to get a “government job with a pension,” which I have. 🙂

    I do have to admit I sometimes have an agenda when talking to kids. For example, when I drive through an area with big, nice houses with my girls I say stuff like “Wow, look at that big, nice house. Bet the person who owns it knows a lot of math or science.”

  2. Two questions based on this…why did you not go into law; do you wish your parents had made more suggestions, not along the lines of pushing as much as of possibilities. I said two but here’s a third – do you think as I do that our HS counselors were useless. Just as an aside you wrote about a few math/science awards Lydia received but there’s no mention of any options related to those. Is she just not interested?

    Hope you had a blessed thanksgiving!

  3. Glad that you are allowing Lydia to find her nitch, as I did with her cousin Becky.

    As for Mom and Dad, I wanted to be a movie star and Mom recommended that I get college degree to “fall back on”. In hindsight, I know she was looking out for my best interest, but I always had a sense of caution vs. “Going for it”. But because of that feeling, I was able to tell Becky to “go for it”, and I am glad I did, and so is she. It also would have been nice if someone told me as a kid about the military band’s. I could have had something to “fail back on” while pursuing the arts. Oh well…do yes, Lydia…go for it! Love you.

  4. You’re right, everything she tries out has value for her. Just encourage her and assist when she wants it and needs it. But you already know that, she’s a lucky kid. (An awful lot of kids out there are mocked by their elders for their interests and openly discouraged by them.)

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