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Success: Luck and doing things you don’t want to do

Submitted by sgrainger on

As parents, we find ourselves in the challenging position of helping to guide our kids towards a successful and fulfilling future. With the ever-evolving landscape of career options, it can be daunting for both parents and students to navigate the maze of possibilities.

On my TCS travels, I have the opportunity to connect with successful Trinity College School alumni who share valuable insights into their career journeys. Their collective wisdom emphasizes a delicate balance between following one’s passions, embracing unexpected opportunities, and not always having “fun”! And, while some kids seemingly know what they want to do from the time they were little, in the vast majority of cases, the path to a fulfilling career isn’t a linear one.

So, my first piece of advice would be to encourage your child to explore and identify their interests and passions. Passion is the driving force that fuels dedication and perseverance. It’s the spark that can turn a job into a fulfilling career; help your kids discover what truly excites them, what makes them lose track of time, and what brings them a genuine sense of joy.

For instance, if your child loves writing, they might consider pursuing a career in journalism, content creation, or even authorship. If their passion lies in technology, avenues like programming, data science, or app development might align with their interests. Trinity College School provides a conducive environment for students to explore a wide array of interests, from arts and humanities to sciences and technology.

A second piece of advice comes in the form of a reminder: life will take unexpected turns and sometimes the most valuable lessons come from experiences we initially resist. Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone, to try things that they may not have considered initially. These experiences can provide valuable skills, perspectives and connections that contribute to long-term success.

My final piece of advice is my favourite. I have a quote, from a source unknown, on a sticky note that remains on my kitchen wall. It says, “Everything I didn’t want to do got me to where I am today.” I believe in this saying, wholeheartedly. To ultimately have a purposeful and fulfilling life we will need to go through some challenging times. Grit and perseverance are necessary. And, not necessarily fun.

It’s important to convey to our kids that the journey to a fulfilling career (or careers!) is not always about having everything figured out from the start. Embracing uncertainty and being open to diverse experiences can lead to unforeseen opportunities and personal growth. (By the way, I am confident that TCS helps in this regard by instilling a sense of adaptability and resilience in its students, preparing them for the dynamic nature of the professional world.)

In short then, I have heard it said that somewhere between getting lucky breaks and knowing exactly what you want to do, lies the answer. Keeping your eyes and ears open and working hard is critical! So, let’s empower our children to navigate this exciting journey with curiosity, resilience, an open mind and an open heart.