Teenagers are often asked ‘what they want to be when they grow up’ and are typically guided on which college to attend or what to study once they graduate from high school. They are taught within an obsolete system by adults who fail to have a firm grasp of growing job market trends. If this isn’t enough, teens are then pressured more by their parents who feel that just because their teen reaches the age of 18-years-old, they should already have a firm grasp of what they want to do with the rest of their lives. If parents can’t understand the trends within the job market (because they were taught by the same obsolete education system) then how can they expect their kids to have a firm grasp of what they hope to do for eternity? The idea is to allow teenagers to gain an understanding of an expanded world beyond their comfort zone, not to limit them by getting them stuck on one single idea for their future.
Job security no longer exists, regardless of what job you might have. Positions once thought to be protected within the market such as lawyers and doctors are even seeing changes thanks to technological advancements. Many duties that were once only done by lawyers can now be done online, leaving the position itself vulnerable to be replaced by advanced algorithms. Even doctors are feeling the heat as robots are slowly perfecting precision laser operations that are rendering human doctors to be ineffective and imperfect.
Rather than asking your teen what they want to be when they grow up, ask the following instead: How do you want to contribute to the world when you grow up? This question will avoid taking your teen down a narrow path of understanding, and will instead, get them to view the world through their own desire of how they hope to provide meaning and contribution. Trust that your teen has a mind of their own, an ability to use it, and a desire that sparks within their own soul.