working it out


Miss T is in Year 10 this year.

Aside from the fact that this means that there are just 2 more years of school fees after this one, it also means that we’re getting closer to that million dollar question- what next?

So far Miss T hasn’t done the whole teenage angst thing. At nearly 15, she still enjoys spending time with me, and we do still have a good relationship. I feel very lucky.

The thing is she doesn’t stress too much about too much. She does what she needs to do, and appears to let a lot of the rest of it go. Now, though, she has to start thinking about decisions. Decisions about what subjects to take next year, decisions about whether she wants to go on to Uni, decisions about what she’ll be doing for work experience.

Whenever I’ve asked her what she wants to do after school, she says she has no idea. I get that.

Now that the work experience question has come up, she has to think about it.

‘I don’t want to be like you and Dad and work in an office,’ she says.

‘I want to be able to move around, be active,’ she says.

That makes sense. Miss T is an Aries, and Aries needs challenge and needs to move.

She likes the idea of the police force and the defence forces. I’m hoping this isn’t just because she was addicted to TV shows like Rush and Sea Patrol. I’ve told her that in real life not everyone has a bum like Snr Sergeant Lawson Blake.

The mother in me cringes at the possibility of those choices, but ultimately it’s her choice to make.

‘What did you do for work experience?’ she asked.

‘I went to a radio station in Penrith in Year 10, and a local newspaper in Year 11,’ I said. I wanted to be a journalist in those days.

‘Did you, like, have to make coffee for people all day, or did you do anything interesting?’ she asked.

‘A lot of coffee, but they let me file some stories.’

‘But you didn’t end up being a journalist,’ she commented, ‘so what good was it?’

I didn’t. I allowed myself to be talked out of the communications degree I was going to do in favour of an Economics degree- apparently anything else would be a waste of the marks I’d achieved. What followed was 12 years of mixed experience in the bank, and then another 12 years doing project management, risk management, change management and relocations for an IT company.

None of it’s been regrettable- I don’t do regrets- but it absolutely wasn’t what I’d planned.

I tell her that. I also tell her that that’s ok.

I tell her to open her eyes to other possibilities. I tell her that it’s ok not to know just yet. I tell her that it’s ok to change her mind. I tell her that work experience isn’t about deciding what you want to do yet, but is about experiencing something outside of school. I think she gets that, but she doesn’t want to do it in an office. I get that.

She’s done some research and can’t get work experience at the defence bases until she’s 16. Since some law changes in NSW, she can’t do work experience with the police anymore.

So, she’ll be spending the week at our chiropractors. They also do Occupational Therapy, and she liked the sound of that.

Either way, it’s experience outside of school, and it’s not in a traditional office.

She will still need to make coffee.

What did you want to do when you left school? Did you do it, or follow some other path completely?




One comment on “working it out”
  1. Debbish says:

    I did work experience as a nurse in Y10 (hated it, though it was kinda common in my town for ‘girls’ to finish school and do nursing!) and went to an accountant for Y12 work experience. I hated the time at the accountants – very boring – and kinda wish I’d done something a bit more outlandish!

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