The careers advice every two-year-old needs

  • As a new report suggests that toddlers could benefit from workplace education, one parent gives it a try
- Sam Wollaston

Apr 8, 2019-

Oh God, have we left it too late? The career chat with the kids, as in: “Guys, of course you must do whatever you want when you grow up, and the main thing is that you’re happy, but have you thought about being ... say, a doctor? Doctors make people better, and that makes doctors happy (and doctors’ daddies are happy, too, which isn’t important, but if you do want to make Daddy happy …).”

A report, entitled More Than a Job’s Worth: Making Careers Education Age-Appropriate, for the charity Founders4School, says that children as young as two should be introduced to careers education, with the aim of broadening horizons and challenging stereotypes. I have a couple of children, boys, recently turned seven and five; now I’m in a panic that we’ve let them down by not providing those early rungs on the career ladder.

What were we doing when they were two? Can we turn back the clock, three years and five years … No, let’s not play with cars today (because they all just went to the charity shop). Lego? OK, but why don’t we make a ... hospital? Great idea, and this room is called the operating theatre, and this really cool man is called the surgeon. Look how happy he is! And you, other child, you can make a Lego courthouse. This excellent dude here is called a lawyer. I think he might be even happier than the doctor—he’s probably got a yacht. Would you like a yacht when you grow up?

Actually, it might not be too late. The thinktankLKMco, which carried out the research for the report, talks about primary-school-aged children as well as two-year-olds. Some primary schools have already got “job corners” in their classrooms, where information and stories about different professions are available, along with props and costumes. So, when I drop off tomorrow, I’ll be checking all four corners of two classrooms very carefully. Nope, not interested in their artworks, definitely not interested in the newspapers they have been making. (Newspapers? Are they having a laugh?)

And if there’s nothing career-related there, we’ll just have to make our own job corner at home, with props and costumes and everything. Go ahead and try it on, we’ve got them in blue and green, they’re called scrubs. This is a scalpel (maybe don’t take it to school). And for you, check out this brilliant ... wig.

— © 2019 The Guardian

Published: 08-04-2019 11:28

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