Students, Whatever You Do, DON’T “Follow Your Passion.”

This is one of the most important posts I've ever written.

follow your passionA girl recently contacted me on Twitter, asking me to explain to her how she could wrestle control of her 529 college savings plan away from her parents.

“They are unreliable and untrustworthy,” she told me.

“What!?” I thought. “Are they drug addicts or human traffickers? Are they embezzlers!? What’s going on?”

I invited the girl to direct message me on Twitter so I could get a fuller picture. I learned that her parents were against a rather harebrained idea she had to study what she vaguely described as “media” overseas — so they were refusing to fund it. (They are perfectly within their rights to do this.)

When I asked the girl why it was so important that she carry out this plan to study “media” overseas, she came out with this whopping piece of logic:

“It’s been my dream since forever to do so.”

My reply to her looked like this:

“I understand about dreams, but when it comes to college and career we need to get extremely practical. What you need is the shortest, fastest, least expensive route to get to a career that will support you financially. When you get to your career goal and you’re working and earning your own money, then you can get started on fulfilling your dreams. Then you can fall in love and travel the world and do whatever you want. College is not the time to fulfill your dreams. College is the time to get busy get practical get it done and get out. Can you tell me what your career goal is? What do you think you’ll be doing when you are finished with studying “media” overseas?”

Parents, tell your kids the truth: college is not actually about following passion and dreams.

College is about qualifying oneself to do a job that will earn money in the real world.

To read my emphatic words to students age 12 -24 (and to see an inspiring short Mike Rowe video on this subject) read on.

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“Help. Our Daughter’s Failing College. She’s Dropping Out.”

Actual Frantic Email I Received From A Mom Recently

What would you do if you found out that your son or daughter was failing college and dropping out?

Today I’m sharing the frantic email I received this week from the mother of a current South Carolina college freshman.

It’s my hope that this mom’s pain and heartache will light a fire under you to do everything you can to keep this from happening to your family.

(Subscribe to my free email newsletter using the form on this site, and I will help you.)

It’s also my hope that my answer to this mom will give you help and hope. This letter is used with permission. Details have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Remember, you can always find out your child’s current grades by waiting for him or her to ask you for money. When you get the money request say: “Sure, Honey. Would you just log me into the computer and show me all your grades first, though? I like to know what I’m investing in.” — Jeannie Burlowski

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#1 Thing Employers ACTUALLY Want In a “Just Out of College” New Hire

Does your child believe that myth, “If I don’t attend a top school, I won’t get a good job when I graduate”?

(You can see the article I wrote debunking this myth here.)

The graph at the bottom of today’s post is going to make you both you and your child feel instantly better.

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For every kid who fears that their college isn’t good enough, here’s great news.

Today I’m featuring excerpts from a brilliant article written by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic.

Thompson boldly tackles the question:

“Do employers really care what college you went to? What do they actually look at when deciding whether or not to hire a new college grad?”

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YOU Can Raise Creative, Confident, Innovative Kids

 

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The last thing you want to do is raise a child who’s just a dull drone, pouring out memorized facts as though facts have the power to save the world. You want to raise a child who will be valued in a future workplace for being creative, confident, and innovative.

But how can you build creative, confident, innovative ability into your child (and yourself!) right now?

In this fascinating 8-minute video, former Yahoo! executive strategist and bestselling author Tim Sanders provides brilliant research-based insight into where creativity and innovation actually come from.  

Here’s how I believe you can make these principles of creativity and innovation come alive in your kids:

1. Let your kid know that genius isn’t necessary to accomplish great things.

Sanders says that it’s a myth that great innovations come from lone wolf inventors who have sudden “eureka moments” strike like lightening from the sky and change the world. “We want to be heroes,” Sanders says, “so that’s how we tell the story.” Actually, though, Sanders says, true genius creativity comes from another place altogether. It comes from collaboration.

2. Explain to your kid the tremendous value of collaboration.

It can be liberating to a 12 -22 year old to realize: “Hey, I don’t have to have all the answers! It’s OK if I have one piece of the puzzle and someone else has another piece of the puzzle. It’s even OK if 20 other people are also contributing pieces of the puzzle. We can work together, and in doing so accomplish something bigger than I could ever do on my own.”

As Sanders says: “Little ideas combine with other little ideas, and these improve into game-changing ideas.”

This realization – that it’s OK to have only one piece of the puzzle – helps kids to relax. It relieves pressure and anxiety that can actually stand in the way of creativity and innovation.

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Expensive Education Leads to a Happier Life. True or False? (The Answer Might Surprise You.)

Your 12th grader is in tears, desperate for you to give him the go-ahead to attend an elite university that’ll cost him $950 per month for 10 years after college. You want him to be happy. Do you say yes?

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Before you respond, you’ll need to be clear on the answer to this one question: “Is it really true that elite private education is so enriching that it automatically leads to a happier, more fulfilled life after college?” What does the research say?

In a 2014 NPR article entitled Poll: Prestigious Colleges Won’t Make You Happier In Life Or Work, Anya Kamenetz cites a Gallup survey of 29,650 college graduates of all ages that demolishes the argument that top college grads lead more fulfilling lives later in life.

Here are the top 6 surprises found in the Gallup data Kamenetz cites:

1. The college you attend doesn’t actually affect your future happiness after college. “When you ask college graduates whether they’re “engaged” with their work or “thriving” in all aspects of their lives,” Kamenetz writes, “their responses don’t vary one bit whether they went to a prestigious college or not.”

2. The college you attend doesn’t move the needle one bit on five separate measures of human happiness. Gallup pollsters asked college grads an array of questions designed to measure how well they were doing in regard to financial health, sense of purpose, physical health, financial security, close relationships, and community pride. The astounding finding? “(The results) did not vary based on whether the grads went to a fancy name-brand school or a regional state college, one of the top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings or one of the bottom 100.”

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What’s the One Key Difference Between Kids Who Excel at School and Kids Who Don’t?

You desperately want your children to excel at school, but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.

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Why “Follow Your Passion!” is Terrible Career Advice

“We need to see you right away,” the anxious mom told me on the phone, her voice shaking.

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“Our son is $40,000 in debt from a history degree he’s not going to complete, and now he’s changing his major to music performance. At this rate it’s going to take him seven years to finish a four-year degree, and he’ll be $80,000 in debt by the time he graduates. We’re worried he’ll never find a music performance job that’ll pay him enough to be able to make those huge student loan payments.”

“That is really worrisome,” I said. “Did your son get any career planning help before starting college?”

“Well, no – ” the mom said hesitatingly. “We really wanted him to be happy, so we just told him to ‘follow his passion.’ Isn’t that the best career advice?”

No – it’s not. I’m sorry. Read on to find out why “follow your passion” is terrible career advice.

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Great Opportunity to Get Career Direction For Your High Schooler!

Deadline to Register: November 5th

Imagine your high school age son up late at night, in his bedroom with his desk light burning, reading a book on software design or motivating employees or robotics engineering or building construction or funding service-oriented nonprofits — just because he’s fascinated and wants to learn more.

Imagine your 10th grade daughter getting genuinely excited about learning — because you’ve helped her to get a glimpse of what she, personally, might love to do for a career someday.

This can happen for your son or daughter, if you make a way for him or her to do career direction work early on.

Today I’m going to give you a way to get quality career direction help for your 15 – 24-year-old son or daughter right now, this fall.

Putting The Puzzle Together

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Want Higher Grades from Middle School and High School Students?

The Way to Inspire Them is Likely NOT What You Think

Your middle schooler or high schooler is underperforming — and it’s driving you crazy.

What’s a caring, involved parent to do?  You know how high the stakes are.  Is it your duty to strictly supervise and control homework so that your son or daughter gets higher grades and has a happier life ?

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“Let’s Talk Now About What Life Will Look Like When You Come Home on College Breaks.”

What Every Parent Needs To Cheerfully Tell College-Bound Kids In the Month Before Classes Start

As a parent, you’d like to make your kid’s future college breaks as warm and memorable as possible.  But will you be able to do that if your newly-flown offspring comes home snarly and inconsiderate?

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What if your newly minted college student decides to stay out until all hours on the night on the night before Thanksgiving, and you toss and turn and lose sleep until 3:00 a.m. because you’re worried there’s been a car accident?

What if your child brings home overnight guests without asking — as though your house is his own?

What if your new “adult” college student decides to spend the entire break watching TV and playing video games — while you take care of all the grocery shopping, meal prep, cleaning, and yard work that keep your household running smoothly?

Will this make for a warm, memorable college break for you, Mom?  

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