About that Epiphany.
Had another one; third one this month.
In hindsight, a lot of things that happened and how I responded make sense but getting here was like walking through the shadow of death. The feelings of insecurity, self doubt, confusion, depression (and the list goes on) were nearly too much to bear.
When I saw a lot of my friends getting jobs in banking, PR, in government, it gave me a lot of doubts.
But I’m here, and I’m here body, mind and soul. Writing.
I have my dream job, surrounded by books all day and the lowest point of my job is reading some really horrible manuscripts that land on my desks (last month’s were really really awful). But that’s the dream. At least part one of it. Maybe I should do a post about that too. I’ll think about it.
Meanwhile, here’s something I wished somebody drilled into my parents’ head when I was young(er) – expose your kids to as many career possibilities as possible. A career shouldn’t be just something to make enough money to keep the family sleeping on beds and eating decent meals. Most adults spend a third of their life at a job (if you live in a megacity like Lagos, you’ll spend the next third in traffic).
Your job should integrate with everything else about your life. It should suit your personality. It should drive you to wake up early on Monday morning. It should spur you to get better. It should draw on all your strengths, your individuality and even help you mitigate your weaknesses.
A friend of mine told about a game developer who tweeted sometime ago about working on a new project at the office and looking forward to the weekend to try out a few ideas on the project. I remember thinking, now that is the kind of job I want – something that would make all my synapses function every day, not just weekdays. Because, it’s no more a job. It’s a life passion. A life task.
Here’s where parents should be careful. Look, I know raising kids isn’t easy. There’s no true detailed instruction manual that teaches how to raise kids well. Every parent learns as they go because every kid is unique. And every family is also unique.
But please, don’t shoehorn your kids into careers. Most parents mean well, but the reality of the twenty first century is that some jobs didn’t exist a decade ago. Some are no longer viable jobs. And I believe that the next decade is going to produce so much change – technologically and socioeconomically – that your kids are going to be having cool job titles. Like Social Media Manager (the person with the company twitter password). Or, you know, the guy who annoys people with aggravating posts.
So let your kids live their lives; let them explore as far as possible, read even farther and then let their imagination carry them the rest of the way. Help them learn a new language, a new instrument, a sport. Encourage them to join the debate team. Or the track team. Or take up judo. Travel. Etc.
And if your kid’s gifted, get him/her into a special program. It will save everyone a lot of frustration.
You may be thinking, all these from an epiphany? Well, that’s what happens when you have a lot of free time on your hands and wordpress. So, it is what it is.
Thanks for listening.