Career Guidance?

Lisbeth Essays, Life

I can’t remember my parents ever telling me to study something at college that would pay the bills.

Maybe I blocked it out. Maybe they spent hours lecturing me and I can’t remember it.

Here’s what I remember:

  • My mother telling me that I should write comedy for tv or be a stand-up comedian.
  • My mother typing my college admission essay and looking up at me, “Wow. You really can write.” I shook my head at her. “Mom, I’ve been telling you that for years.” My mother had five kids and a more-than-full-time job, and she probably didn’t notice my skill until that moment.
  • My dad happily tinkering with a gauge on his desk in our basement office – a jeweler’s eyepiece strapped on his head as he used tiny instruments to fix yet another measuring device. He didn’t give career advice. Noticing when he was happy was the career advice I gathered.

As it turned out, I was an English major at Vassar, and then became an aircraft maintenance officer in the USAF – because that makes sense, right? (Spoiler: everything worked out okay.)

Now I sit on the couch, happily typing on my keyboard, a few feet away from my younger son and I wonder what my kids will remember about my career guidance to them.

What career advice did your parents give you? Did you use it? Or do you wish you had never heard it?

Lisbeth Essays, Life

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