Meddling Mentor?

Jun 13th, 2010 | By | Category: abundance, aptitude, Career advice, career challenges, mentor, personality, success

Last week I was talking with a 19 year old, about what he wants to do now he has been out of high school for a couple of years. He currently works with his uncle in construction part time; works pizza delivery, and is a temporary Census worker. He is bright guy with a good personality and should be able to easily make it through college, but he has no interest in college. Although he has not asked me for any advice, I would like to help him develop a career strategy, which would include basic goals, and general plans to achieve them.

Not everyone wants to go to college. His description of the local community college was high school extended. He said most of the students attending the community college are the same people he went to high school with. He also described the classes as boring. When I asked if there was subjects he was interested in he just shrugged. I asked if he like being a Census worker , to which he replied that it was easy money. He went on to explain that it was much less physical than his construction job where he mostly did heavy lifting and demolition. He said he said liked the construction job better than the Census because he could see that he accomplished something when the job was completed.

He also told me about his pizza delivery job, and how the closing driver has to help clean up the pizza shop. Again this was a lot physical labor of scrubbing pots and pans and mopping the floor. A big part of the earnings from pizza delivery comes from tips, so they do not even make minimum wage when working inside the shop. All told he figured he made less than $5 and hour that evening and did not get home until 1:00 AM. He did not seem to mind the work , and talked more about the fun he had working with his friends. Even though he was not making much money he was enjoying himself.

Our conversation ended shortly with stories of the different funny things that happened during clean up at the pizza shop. Although I would really like to get my friend to focus on higher education and his future, he is really happy with his current lifestyle. He lives at home and his parents help out financially when he needs its. He has a car and he told how his parents helped pay for repairs. He also told how his parents bought him the car, but only after a lot of asking and yard work on his part. He is an only child and his parents appear to make a decent living. He does not talk about leaving home or getting an apartment. Maybe he is too comfortable at home to think much about the future.

My friend has not asked me for advice, so I feel more of a meddler than a mentor. He does talk about the military a lot, but also says he has breathing problems so this may not be an option. With his current mindset he would most certainly end up volunteering for the infantry. Not a skill that readily translates to a civilian job. Although a hitch in the military may act as a catalyst to help him focus on a career, and the GI Bill would help him pay for college or technical training.

Although I would like to help steer my friend toward college, he really does not want to go. He does not seem to talk about having material things when he is older and is really seems to be enjoying his youth. In a way I envy him. He is living a carefree life without responsibility or worry. He may already have a career plan, which is to live with his parents, and then inherit their wealth to see him though. Since he is an only child it may even be feasible depending on his parents financial position.

I am sure we will talk again, and not wanting to be the meddling mentor will mostly listen and try to plant some ideas for the future. It is never too late to start a career, but the older we get the more difficult it becomes. I will let you know about our next conversation.

The Practical Mentor.

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