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High School Passion

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When I was in high school, I only knew of one type of passion and it had nothing to do with career. So, when my son, a junior in high school, came home from his school’s Career Day fired up about finding his career passion, I was all ears. He was in charge of  the day which they called FYI, Find Your Inspiration Day.  He and his peers invited “cool adults” (aka not Mom or Dad) in to discuss their jobs and why they chose their respective career paths. As the co-founder of YourOnRamp, a site for women in career transition, I found the entire process enlightening.

First, was their choice in speakers. Most of the parents at his small private school are investment bankers, lawyers and consultants, and his committee was quite clear from day one that they did not want to hear about one of those boring jobs where in his words not mine, the only goal was making money. So who did they chose to come and speak? The Media Director for the San Francisco Giants … no surprise there, a local comedian, a group of Hip Hop dancers, a Latin teacher, and a favorite English teacher who also happens to play in a band.

The favorite speakers were the teachers because their message was crystal clear … life is too short to spend working in a job you don’t enjoy. The Latin teacher had several careers before he found one he was happy with. He was in the Army then went to Oxford to study classics, then onto Africa to teach. When money ran out he returned to the States to teach. When the English teacher was asked why he didn’t want to be a full-time musician he said his music fed his teaching and his teaching fed his music. He enjoys coming to work everyday and is passionate about teaching kids. That message really resonated with my son.

So as my son routinely stays up past midnight completing his homework and starts his college search complete with too many applications, SAT prep, AP tests and tremendous stress to excel, I hope his hard work will pay off and give him the ultimate career choices.  When mom and dad are no longer footing the bill, and earning a living enters the equation, I hope and that he doesn’t loose his desire to find passion in his career. He assures me that he and his generation and much more focused on passion and giving back than we were. Time will tell …

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