The Simple Trick We Teach Our Kids about Choosing a Career

How do you advise your kids about choosing a career when most of the jobs they'll do haven't even been invented yet? Here's our simple trick to set them up for success.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A common question to ask school age kids. 

I wanted to be lots of things, or so I thought, and not one of them was what I do today. 

Doctor (Had recently broken an ankle)
Lawyer (Saw all of Law & Order)
Fighter Pilot (Had watched Top Gun)

Rarely did I think of anything other than what I would be doing day to day in one of those jobs. 

I knew nothing about the lifestyle, the challenges, or the financial prospects. 

Doctors and lawyers appeared to drive nice cars, to do fun things, and to wear new clothes. Fighter pilots had a nice ride. 

Otherwise they were parents of my friends.  

You can be anything you'd like as long as you are also an investor

Our daughters now get the question. So we discuss the topic on car rides, around the table or by text in this new, new world. 

Our one piece of advice as they find their way is straightforward. 

You can be anything you’d like as long as you are also an investor. 

We’ve watched friends of every professional flavor contribute in diverse ways and build lives of comfort and opportunity. 

Doctors 
Lawyers
Fighter Pilots
Teachers
Builders
Welders

All leading impressive lives making tremendous contributions without financial or future fear. 

All grownups. All imperfect. All living the best lives they know how. 

The rest of the journey is theirs

And so we share with our girls that we don’t have the answer as to what they should do. 

But that we do know the power of doing the best one can. Living below one’s means. Saving. And investing. Simply. 

The rest of the journey is theirs. No matter how daunting that may seem to them or to us.

Resources for investing with kids

Content for kids:

  • Rosemary Wells' Bunny Money is a great book for introducing saving to littles.
  • Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club: In this animated series, Warren Buffet mentors entrepreneurial kids.

Books for older kids or for adults to read with younger kids:

Thoughts?

How do you talk with your kids about careers and investing? Weigh in below in the comments.

Comments

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  1. Jen

    Thank you. I agree the younger you are and realise the power of investment the better.
    I have started my kids on think and grow rich and rich dad poor dad but the truth is I really don’t know or have answers about investing beyond real estate investment. Are there any intro next level investment books that you would recommend for me and my daughter who is a young adult. I am learning along with her. Lol

    1. Cope

      Jen,

      Two suggestions. The first from and the second by Warren Buffett, one of my heroes.

      First, Mr. Buffett recommends ‘The Intelligent Investor,’ in particular chapters 08 and 20, by his teacher Benjamin Graham. Mr. Buffett credits the book with his having a clear view of what it means to invest.

      Second, Mr. Buffett writes a public letter each spring in which he describes how he has invested and run his business, Berkshire Hathaway. The letters are written to his sisters, both of whom are intelligent non-business people. An example from 2016 is linked below.

      Beginning on page 24 Mr. Buffett offers his current investment advice for most of us.

      http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2016ltr.pdf

      Thank you for your comment.