How do you help guide your children to the right college and career?
For some, the right college is the highest ranked college – Stanford, Yale, UC Berkeley, and nothing else will do. For some, it’s a small private college. For some, it’s a large state college. And for some, it’s whatever school will take my kid.
Shouldn’t the choice be based on what college will put her in the best position to thrive? Will Harvard position her for the life she wants – does she want a high level government job, a job in a New York law firm or investment firm or a job with a national consulting firm traveling all the time? Maybe San Jose State will position him for the life he wants? A top ten college may not matter so much if he will start and run his own business.
Same with career. What career will position her to live a heart-felt life? Not necessarily one that makes the most money or brings the highest status, but one that gives her the lifestyle to thrive.
The decision should be made with the end in mind. Getting into a prestigious college or landing a high paying high stress job may not result in a happy life for your son or daughter if it’s not the right fit. What do they like, what are they good at and, I believe most important, what will best position them for a great life? Is it working 100 hours a week in an urban skyscraper, traveling away from family all week, teaching kids, selling software, running a business or . . . ?
Your child’s college and first career job certainly won’t lock them into a certain lifestyle, especially in this age of vast transition, but it will start laying the foundation.
For more on choosing a career here is my post from last year.