Tuesday, 10 September 2013

My public speaking debut. Hope the crowd is friendly.

This is me.  Tomorrow.  I'm scared. 

Tomorrow I have to face a class full of 9 and 10 year olds and give a presentation.

It's the one where you go in and tell them what you do for a job.  Which is easy if you have a proper one.

One Mum went and talked about tax.  I wish I'd been there, because I could have learned something.

One Mum went and talked about making silver jewellery.  I wish I'd been there too, I love silver jewellery.

So it's quite eclectic.  Luckily for me because I don't really have a subject.  Or a job.  Well, not like a fireman or a doctor or a teacher sort of job.

(BTW in my opinion there should be more firemen. There aren't enough fireman around here.  Is that so wrong?)

Anyway, so tomorrow I've decided to talk about what they want to be when they grow up, with a definite slant towards making it clear that they don't have to STAY the same thing all their lives.

This is how I felt, way back in 1988 when I had to choose a uni degree. 

Because these days, they're just as likely to do a Commerce Law double degree (which costs thousands) and after a few years in a big law firm, quit to become a stand up comedian.

Or become a handbag designer after completing an Engineering degree and then round it off with a bit of yoga instruction after having kids.  

Or start studying medicine and become a heart surgeon after 7 years working full time at KFC.

Of course I am making all these up scenarios up, but I don't think they're far from reality.  And I feel that the worst thing we can say to my own 10 year old aspiring make up artist (and I mean costume make up for movies, not the pretty stuff) is that it takes too long to break into, or all the good jobs are in LA (and I'll miss her terribly) or she'll never make enough money.

I think making kids decide at 18 (or earlier because they have to choose subjects before they start their HSC) what they want to be forever is mean.   Not for all of them, some school leavers (my husband was one) are amazingly focused, choose what they want, work towards it, and never waver, but many of them (and I was one) have NO idea. Like none.

You know, like, I've got to grow up and have a career? Huh?

Now, I'm Gen X.  That's the generation who graduated from Uni when jobs were like hens teeth.  My incredibly focused and unwavering husband got great marks and was accepted into a highly coveted grad program while I doodled around at my casual job for another year and then started another degree (Nursing if you can believe it- don't worry, I quit after a year, I'm not nice enough).

I was 35 (THIRTY-FIVE) before I finally gathered the courage to write for a living.

Now Gen Y seem to have much less career driven angsty and many of them are very comfortable  being slashies.  You know, hi I'm an actor/business analyst/pottery maker/cruise ship entertainer.

I don't know what generation our kids even are.  Gen Z? Gen i?  Whatever.  Mainly, I hope they don't let themselves become funnelled into a career they hate.

Like I did.

So I'm telling them whatever they choose, they can change.  They don't have to stay it forever.  Although ideally they should show some focus and commitment to each career.   Change jobs by all means, but not every 6 months.  Give your career choice a red hot go first.

Maybe I'm preaching to the converted when I tell them not to worry, they can change careers.  Maybe they've already absorbed this with their breakfast cereal, watching talented teenagers follow their dreams on shows like iCarly and Victorious.

Maybe I should be delivering my talk to myself and my peers in 1988 or 1980.  Sheesh.  Or maybe I'm trying to justify all the stuffing around I did before I finally realised what career would make me happy.

I'll find out tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos jscreationzs and artur84