Dear Grandparenting: My son-in-law has never knocked them dead as a provider. He jumps from job to job. The grass is always greener for him somewhere else, but I am the one to ante up when the going gets tough.
That has never stopped him from dispensing advice to my two grandsons about how to make a living. His advice keeps changing. Lately he is big on becoming an auto mechanic because it’s steady work. My daughter and I try not to interfere while the job genius is speaking so we won’t miss his pearls of wisdom.
I might want to sneak in a word or two. What advice do I give my grandsons? They are 8 and 12. I can’t begin to imagine what they will be doing in 20 years. Fran LeBlanc, Atlanta, Georgia
Dear Fran: Tempting as it may be for grandparents to speculate about grandchildren’s future occupations, it’s a bit of a stretch to even hazard a guess. Take auto mechanics. The first waves of driverless and self-driving vehicles have arrived, a revolutionary development. What’s coming next?
Work as we know it is disappearing. Technology is changing every job in almost every industry. Automation could kill more than 70 million U.S. jobs by 2030, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report. But other factors — emerging economies, aging populations and new technologies — should create enough new jobs to go around.
Who knows where a grandchild’s eventual interests will lie, or which aptitudes will develop? The best-laid career plans can fall by the wayside.
Instead of pointing toward a specific occupation, the future is best served by developing essential personal and technology skills employers seek. An employee can be trained for a service or product, but they cannot be trained to have integrity, resiliency, self-confidence and a strong work ethic.
Granddaughters would have been excluded from this discussion in generations past. A good marriage was their best bet. Today it’s no longer a man’s world all across the board. When companies go to war over talent, a good woman is often the prize.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
“Two things I dislike about my granddaughter: when she won’t take her afternoon nap, and when she won’t let me take mine.” – Humorist Gene Perret
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.