I attended the HR MENA Tech recently and one of the topics discussed was the new generation careers. The skills to be developed now for careers that are not yet available today. Upskilling older generations so we won't be left behind. I thought the whole conference was talking to me.
I'm the old generation, my children are the generation I have to prepare for careers I have no clue about. Until my oldest boy finally opened up on what he wants to do for a living.
Our eldest is nearing University phase and so after months of going back and forth discussing what he really wants to pursue as a career, he dropped the bomb on me.
Apparently, he's been thinking about it long and hard but just couldn't bring himself to tell me. He thought I wouldn't understand.
Well he ain't wrong! I'm still trying to get over the shock.
In random order, his choices are:
There was no "I want to be a fireman mommy" or a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, an accountant, an entrepreneur. He might as well have told me I want to be a Youtuber or a circus clown. They all sound about the same to me, of course other than Weapons Engineering which I think is an interesting choice, pretty out there but what do I know?
With all the games about firearms, firefighting and war, they know more about these stuff than what I'll ever know in my lifetime.
So given his choices above, I have to be open and be supportive of the life he is essentially choosing. In as much as I wish he goes through the conventional and safe route, I cannot impose on him. I cannot imagine how his life will be if he ends up working day in and day out doing something he doesn't enjoy, even worst, hates.
At the same time, it's not easy for an oldie like me. Just visualising a gathering where someone will ask him "which degree did you say you have again?" and hearing Alex say "Bachelor's in eSports", it still gives me the heebie jeebies. I am working hard though, trying to get over the unheardness-ness of it.
I mean, I checked one of the best Uni in UK when it comes to the gaming world and even them, this is the first year they have offered the degree. I mean if it's been on for like 5 or so years, I'd probably be more at ease.
But my husband, the ever progressive thinker that he is told me matter-of-factly... "well don't dismiss it so quickly. At one point, Computer Engineering did not exist".
Enough said, that was his degree and at that time, there were a lot of skeptics about it and at one point considered a pseudo engineering let alone a thing worthy of a degree.
So yes, I'll swallow my skepticism and embrace optimism. At least, Alex knows what he wants to do. I didn't know what my passion was until I was on my 2nd year in University. I had to re-direct and re-plan my life when I realised what I will enjoy as a career. I am still thankful for that until now.
To alleviate my anxiety, I'm helping him read up on course prospectus. That is the only way I'll feel confident that indeed, it is a career. Hopefully I can still guide him with the choice he'll end up taking.
So far, I am a little bit convinced with Game Design and eSports. Not a 100% but getting there. Weapons Engineering might not be an option on a Bachelor's level (phew!) but hey, we're still exploring all possibilities. He is yet to find a Uni that speaks to him about the rest of his choices.
Until then, I prolly need a brown bag to breathe through when anxiety attacks.
-very anxious mother-
Parenthood is not for wusses. We do give tons of hugs but at the same time must take tough choices and actions when the buggers won't listen.
Time and time again we have to prove to my kids that we are their parents, not their friends. They have enough friends, they'll have many more and will not run out of them. They do not need us to be their friends, they need us to be their parents. We are meant to be their parents, otherwise they should have been born decades earlier and out of someone else's you-know-what.
Jason deciding to fool around with his school work this week (not the only week, mind you) is the straw that broke the camel's back.
We used to flip through the pages of glossy magazines or colourful webpages, drool and gawk at gorgeous places we only dreamed of seeing. We used to daydream over the idea of food we might never get to taste. Wondered how each destination feels.