Career Decisions

This past week as my husband and I drove my middle child back to college I got to thinking about her road ahead. She will be graduating in May and her future has yet to be realized. While she is thinking of the fun and the internships she hopes to land, I am focusing on what is she going to do when school ends. Unlike her older sister who went to college knowing exactly where she wanted to live and what she wanted to do with her life, the middle child has never had a clear idea. Two weeks after the older child graduated from college, she was living in the city she always dreamed of and is in the profession she always wanted. (Writing) Did her passion pull her into her vocation? I am not sure, I know two years later she is loving her work.

The middle child is well-rounded and is academically successful. She knows her strengths and she knows her limits. This sort of knowledge is important when making career decisions.  She told us long ago she could not work behind a desk for 40 hours a week. She said she needs a degree of unpredictability in her profession. As scary as that sounds to me she told me that is what feeds her creativity. Therefore, I have decided to let her work it out for herself. Let life take its course and whatever job she gets when college ends we will be there to support her.

Then I read a post by Dean Shareski Stop Following Your Passions…The Celebration of Work in which he suggests that one’s passion and vocation does not have to be one in the same. This made me feel a little better about the discussions we had with our middle child. It also got me to thinking a little deeper about college.

This leads me to question what are the determining factors in deciding one’s future? What influences our career decisions?  For example, my youngest is a senior in high school. He has proven he is a very talented runner and loves it. The college discussion is now altered based on his athletic scholarship ability.  Should his talent determine his future? He has enjoyed engineering courses but now is unsure.  His recent successes on the track has changed his academic focus. Should he follow sports related fields? Where will his athletic abilities take him? Will he still enjoy running in a much more competitive environment? I do not have the answers.  I guess time and hard work will tell.

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