Career Commitments… let’s take a big deep breath!

Posted 13 Feb, 2020

Collegians have so much to give to our young people that are struggling to make a decision about which path to choose when they move into their final years of school life.

Whilst organising the panel of speakers for our Life after Radford event for the Year 11 Retreat  (later this month), it has been inspiring to read the career journeys and life experiences shared by our panel of speakers. Not all of the journeys have been smooth and in some cases our Collegian speakers are working in industries that they did not even think about whilst at school or university.

As Collegians we have so much that we can share with current students who are facing similar challenges to the one that Lou Lou Moxom (Class of 1989) has shared her advice on in the most recent  HerCanberra Help me Lou Lou advice column:

I worked hard through college and got a really high ATAR. High enough to get into Law, which I wasn’t really expecting, to be honest.

My parents are stoked and have told everyone they know. The thing is, as my first day at uni draws nearer, I am having second thoughts. Do I really want to do this degree? I am not actually sure. I feel I have been pushed a little bit in this direction and I am not sure AT ALL what I should be doing.

So what do I do now?

Well done you for working so hard and achieving such an awesome score! I hope you are really proud of your achievements and work ethic? I’m proud of you and I don’t even know you and I can only imagine your Olds are legit smiling ear to ear and high-fiving each other constantly. Yes, they are singing your praises to all who’ll listen and that’s because it’s their job to celebrate every single one of your wins which—through freaky parent rules that, yes, are real—means they are actually celebrating their own righteous parenting skills.

I dig how surprised you seem with your results, too, ya cutie. Obviously you have been gifted some sweet sweet legal skills and you haven’t realised it yet but you just found your NPT* (more on this later) and this is going to be a big moment for you. Stay with me…

Sounds like you haven’t really paid that much attention to your inner career voice, as you are questioning the commitment it’s going to take to study law and if it’s even the career for you.

It’s all a bit daunting and real, isn’t it?

Do not fear.

We’ve all been where you are. This is Big, Real and Very Responsible, and this is not a decision to be taken lightly if there is any ounce of doubt creeping in.

Talk to your parents but prepare your case wisely (use handy legal phrases to show you are delivering an educated argument and do not mention a pilgrimage of self-discovery, hitch-hiking a yurt trail that your mates Thorston and Willow have just undertaken, and definitely do not back this up with suggestions of taking a few weeks in Amsterdam to just “chillax man”… (This stuff freaks parents out and our worry radars and imaginations run wild).

We put so much pressure on you gorgeous young people to make decisions about your future careers at such a young age. If you told 18-year-old Loulou that she was going to be a florist she would have raised an eyebrow and sashayed away.

Good on you calling halt to the road train that is your life at the moment. Gut instincts are real and it’s absolutely right to stop for a mo and reassess.

Discuss your concerns with your parents but promise them that you are genuinely exploring your doubt but not giving up on the legal gig at the moment. Defer for a year. Work, volunteer, travel, study, make stuff, plant trees, look up, explore. Keep a journal, write in it, commit to a decision date with yourself about your future and share that with your parents.

I say this to myself every day and I know I’ve written it before so excuse me for HAMMERING THIS POINT HOME but you must know that life isn’t a dress rehearsal? We all get one precious shot at acing at life so why waste time wondering about stuff. Just go and do it Sugar…

….which brings me back to *NPT or your Natural Perfect Talent.

Let me explain.

I believe that every single human has a natural talent that they are perfect at—like they never EVER stuff up—but it can be anything and everything. Take Jane—Jane walks every day the same way, but it’s perfect. Her back is straight, her gait perfectly weighted for her stride like that of a walking champion and ideal for all and any terrain. And that’s just walking! Some people get fairy floss to cling perfectly to sticks, some people cure diseases because they are scientific and medical geniuses.

Some people may be so perfect at legal issues that they become the head of a legal team that creates new and perfect peace agreements between each and every nation of the world.

Wouldn’t that be a kiss-ass Natural Perfect Talent? And how cool would it be if it were you?

PS. My NPT is whistling xxx

Photo and content credit: HerCanberra https://hercanberra.com.au/

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