Archive for August, 2013

The March on Washington – reflections

August 26, 2013

Fifty years ago this week, I was a sulky, brooding college student vacationing at home in Florida, watching the coverage of the March on Washington.  Tampa seemed so far removed from the action, and I longed to be somewhere more – well, stimulating.   The reflecting pool!  Crowds!  Rhetoric!  Causes to pursue!

My own route to Washington took up much of my senior year in college.  A test for a government agency, an interview, an onsite visit for more tests and interviews, a lot of angst, and then the job was mine.   A job offer never sounded so sweet.

I pined for a life in the Washington metro area from watching the march coverage on TV, and I’ve never changed my opinion.  It’s an exciting place to live and to work.  I hope I have contributed to the dream of Dr. King by being a career counselor and teacher to hundreds of people seeking information, guidance, and encouragement to follow their passion.

What memories!

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Growing into Career Awareness

August 3, 2013

If there is a young person in your life, you smile as they first answer that inevitable question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  And I think you ought to make note of those work fantasies, because they might be helpful someday.

A certain young man I know and love has kept the family astonished by his answers over the years.  Here they are in sequence:

  • Hey!  I’m a kid.  I play.  That’s what I like to do (age 6)
  • The greatest Pokeymon collector in the world (age 9)
  • The best game player in the world (age 12)
  • a personal trainer (age 15)

Looking at the list, there really were no surprises at the time, because the answers reflected the ways he chose to spend his time.  But this last one is different.  He has figured out that there are really people who lift weights, run, and also encourage others to maintain fitness.  Someone is out there designing a parcourse, making exercise DVDs, coaching soccer, and teaching PE.  What a reward to see a young man open his eyes to real possibilities for his future work life.  And in typing this list, I see a thread – it’s all about play and always has been.  Cards, electronics, sports.  The six-year old’s statement about play still holds true.  Must be something to it.

Go ahead and encourage your young people to dream.  And don’t bother to correct them.  You can learn from their fantasies.  Reality will become a factor as part of the maturing process, I think.  Of course, a young person’s concept of reality is not the same as that of parents or grandparents, but that’s another topic.