Parents often advise their children to choose a stable profession. On the other hand, children gravitate towards unfamiliar, new-age options. Every parent can relate to that feeling of uncertainty around their child’s future. But maybe it is time to reflect: Does it need to be a passion or profession? Because times have changed!
Today’s youth are less drawn to tried and tested professions. A Forbes article references a study that found that millennials are the first generation to prize purpose over salary. Also, it is now normal to have more than one calling. In a TED Talk, artist Emilie Wapnick describes a kind of people she calls ‘multipotentialites’, who have a range of jobs and interests over a lifetime. In a post-pandemic economy, more and more companies are offering flexible work arrangements that encourage people to have more than one revenue stream. So, in this climate, what is the role of a parent in guiding their child to a career?
Nurturing the “professional imagination”
For starters, as parents, what if we stop assuming that we have to take full responsibility to bring our children to the “perfect” career decision? Instead, what if we saw ourselves as the conductors of their hidden potentials, tasked with giving them enough room so their natural abilities and inclinations rise to the surface? This takes an attitude of openness and experimentation. We call it nurturing your child’s “professional imagination” versus getting them to decide as per our perceptions of their abilities and the marketplace.
5 ways to exercise your child’s professional imagination and bring out hidden potential:
It’s an open field, not a binary In conclusion, it’s good to remember that it need not be an “either-or” decision as we imagine it to be. The reality has shifted from a simple binary to a field with many simultaneous possibilities. All we probably need to do as parents is create an open, nurturing environment that lets our child arrive at their métier on their own. As the poet Tagore reminded us:
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