Professional Future of Girls


If you’re like me you give some thought to giving your kids career advice. We’re big on academics and when Ainsley says, What should I do when I grow up? We are clear, You must do something that makes money. You choose what it is, find your purpose, but you must be able to take care of yourself.

As a writer I have found it difficult to make my way in this profession. Not because I’ve had difficulty finding work. But, because I’ve had difficulty being PAID good money for the work I do. This is going to change for me any minute. I know it. I’m currently accepting offers to be paid good money for what I’m doing here. Feel free to email me at to send offers.

I’ve flirted with the idea of pushing my children towards medicine and scientific professions. All you have to do is look in the want ads or interview your friends about how much money they make to realize that:

1. Life is easier if you have money.

2. Science, technology, medical left brain thinking pays more money and those jobs are always available.

I write because I love it and I’m meant to do it, but I’ve many times wished I had just gone and been a physical therapist like my friends Christy and Cindy. It just would have been easier, more stable and secure.

Then I listened to this guy Daniel Pink on Oprah’s Soul Series talk about how creative people – people like myself, writers, artists, designers, spiritual leaders, talkers – right brain thinkers are inheriting the earth and its economics in the very near future. In fact, he believes it is already happening and we should prepare our children for creative professions. Because those will be the secure and stable ones.

Daniel Pink wrote A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
and he says that left brain activities, like accounting, mathematics, computer and science careers, are the ones that will be outsourced or we’ll make software and machines to do that work during our children’s careers.

The more secure bet? Right Brain Careers that involve creativity, innovation, individuality, design, empathy, and meaning, story telling, big picture thinking.

Is it a coincidence that these attributes and skills have also been traditionally feminine skills which we have always rewarded in girls, but which have also traditionally made far less money and carried less social value?

Watch it for free on Oprah’s Soul Series – he’s got facts to back it up and it’s a convincing argument.

It might change the way you talk to your kids about their future professions. It might change how you react when your 17-year-old announces she is going to art school.

8 replies
  1. Aaron says:

    The biggest challenge to those in creative professions is that many don’t possess a lot of common sense (or even business sense) to ever hit a higher source of income. They’re idealism (and sometimes ego) gets in the way of making real world decisions. Show me an artist with the the best talent, and I’ll show you one with lesser talent but more financially sound.

    In my profession as a creative director, working in the design field for 10 years now, “some” creative types tend to be fairly two-dimensional, driven by “passion” and not “realistic reason”. I’ve seen so many walk through the door “without a lick of sense” (how’s that for a native coloquialism?), but gobs of talent with no idea how to propel themselves into any type of career or future.

    My best advice? Skip art school and major in business (or other such degrees). Learn your creative trade on your own time instead from Google, workshops, books, museums, and actually “doing it” instead of thinking about and watching others. Then combine your creative skills with your degree, and set the world on fire.


  2. Violet says:

    I think everyone has to follow their passion, but you also have to figure out how you are going to pay the bills. That’s just reality.

    I don’t think you have to get the MBA if what you really want to do is study creative writing. However, you have to figure out what you can do to make a living with a degree like that. It might mean you teach, or you do business writing on the side, or be okay with a less expensive lifestyle. It might mean your passion is relegated to being a hobby. It might mean you get your nursing degree first.

    It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

  3. Amy Eaton Rutledge says:

    I disagree with telling your children that they must find a career that brings in money. By doing this, you focus more on that fact that they need to be worrying about money to make them happy. My father told me when I was young to do the things that make me happy. He said that if I focus on the things that make me happy, I’ll find a way to make money doing it and everything will work out. This may seem like misleading optimistic advice, but it has served me well and has helped balance the inner skeptic in me. And he didn’t freak out when, at 17, I told him I was going to art school. Now I’m working on a master’s degree. Bills get paid and life goes on, happily.

  4. Tracee says:

    You are free to disagree and I see your point.

    I must clarify – I don’t tell my children that money will make them happy.

    I do tell them that will provide food and shelter and that not having it can be a source of a lot of problems and stress.

    My belief that money was “unimportant” led to lots of unhappy stress. Unnecessary too.

  5. Enginerd says:

    I think creativity helps you out in any profession, I mean, just look at that accountant guy in Shawshank Redemption 😉 It’s definitely something we should be encouraging in everyone, right or left-brained.

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