We all want what’s best for our children. In a world where the almighty dollar determines so much about a person’s opportunities in life, one of the best ways parents can provide the best life possible to their children is by choosing a high-paying career. While parents should never aim to spoil their kids to the point they are ill-prepared for the realities of adulthood, ensuring your children have everything they need as well as access to opportunity is vitally important.
To do this, most parents in most societies have to climb the income ladder. This, in turn, requires picking the right career pursuit.
Selecting the right career or business opportunity can be a complex web of interests, desires, skill sets and income. Whether it’s getting a degree in corporate finance, buying a CPA firm, or both, the path is no walk in the park. With that said, the journey is worth every step so long as you stay on track.
Here's a general framework to help financially struggling parents think through some of the aspects of finding a high-paying career they love:
1. Education - Career and Money
Given its importance in our modern world and job market, education is one of the biggest criteria for the type of career you have and the amount of money you make. For example, becoming a master of construction management puts you on the path to becoming a civil site engineer earning over $150,000 per year.
According to recent government jobs statistics, high school diploma recipients make a median annual income of $35,256 a year. For those with a bachelor's degree its $59,124. For those with a master's degree, the median annual income is $69,732.
For those with a professional degree like an MBA (Masters in Business Administration), MD (Medical Doctor), JD (Doctor of Law) or MPA (Master of Public Administration), average earnings are $89,960 per year.
For some careers like medicine or law, a degree and even advanced degrees will be required. But other professions like sales, entrepreneurship or financial planning may only require a bachelor's degree or maybe even no college at all.
2. Experience - The Career Track
Almost no one will land their ideal job straight out of college. Most people, even if they know what their dream job is, work their way up to that.
Maybe your dream job is to be a commercial pilot flying a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on an international route. For that, you may have to join the military first. You will at least have to go to flight school, become a first officer for another pilot.
Once you get your own plane, you'll probably have to fly a small puddle jumper on a regional route for low pay. Have hundreds of hours logged flying a regional route, you may get the opportunity to land that dream job of flying a route from New York to Paris.
No matter what your dream job is, you'll have to pay your dues and do the leg work of climbing the ladder to your end destination.
3. Talent - Do You Have What It Takes?
If you ask most kids what they want to do when they grow up, they'll say something like an astronaut, President of the United States, or a rock star. Then as they grow up into adulthood, they come to the painful self-realization that they don't have the talent to do those things. What makes it less painful is that most people don't.
Talent has a lot to do with what kind of job you'll have. No matter how hard you work, if you don't have steady hands, you will never be a surgeon. No matter how hard you work and how much education you get, if you can't speak in public, you'll never be a politician.
The fact of the matter is, however, if you don't have the talent for a particular job, you wouldn't like it anyways. People who hate public speaking wouldn't want to be a politician. People who easily get motion sickness would never enjoy being the captain of a cruise ship.
Dream Jobs Are Possible
The fact that 40% of people are in their dream job tells me it's possible for parents to find a high-paying career that works for them. In fact, it's more than possible. With the right mix of education, experience, and talent, most parents can land the career they desire and provide their kids with the best life possible at the same time.