What should we tell our kids about preparing for life and work these days? You know how the economy is not so good.
For the most part I’m inclined toward the very practical: Study something that will get you a job. Be realistic. But when it comes to my kids and the life they’ll lead I find myself wanting to shout, “DO WHAT YOU LOVE!” I hope they are able to find something they love and I hope they can do something they love well.
Perhaps that’s why I’m looking to famous rock stars and writers as I figure out what I’m going to say to my kids when they can’t decide what to do with their lives. I really like the commencement address Neil Gaiman gave graduates at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. He focuses on preparing to live in a freelance world. Even if you aren’t in a creative field, now jobs are catch as one can and few people work at the same company their whole life. You kind of have to hustle. (It’s such a bummer–but kind of . . . invigorating?)
Neil Gaiman explains that you need to do good work, on time, and be easy to get along with–but you can get by on two out of those three things. Pretty sound advice.
He recommends doing something I’ve always believed works: Pretend to be a wise person and behave like a wise person would behave. Pretty sound advice.
In the end he encourages you to leave the world more interesting for your being here. Pretty sound advice. Watch the whole address here.
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