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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

After You Teach Them How to Fish, You Must Teach Them How to Get a Job as a Fisherman

Perhaps you know the saying (allow me to paraphrase here), "If you give a child a fish, you will feed him for a day.  If you teach a child how to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime."  I would like to correct a modern error in that last statement.  In today's world, your child needs to get a job as a fisherman before he or she can fish. No matter how good they are at fishing, they are going to starve if they cannot convince someone to hire them and give them a pole.

As a recruiter and a father I think constantly about what will give my children an edge when they head out into the "real" world and actually have to work for a living.  Will reading to my 9 year old son each night actually make a difference and should I be reading Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger (yes, a real book) or would it be better (if less fun) to read Never Eat Alone?  Should I get my 2 year old daughter a Barbie doll for Christmas or would the Nerf Machine Gun help to make her more assertive in her job interview?

I might still be thinking like this without my career as a recruiter but the job has certainly forced me to consider the effects of choices I make now on the future working life of my kids.  With every great resume I see at work I think, "How can I help my son and daughter get to where this guy is now?" Is the right school going to make a difference?  Does forcing my son to do his homework in 4th grade mean he will get a better job some day? Maybe both of my kids should be taking horseback riding lessons?

Connecting career planning with young children is a new/old idea.  A couple hundred years ago the whole apprentice system took care of any career worries and by the age of nine a child pretty much knew what he would be doing the rest of his life.  These days it is harder.  We actually have to make choices!

This project is a work in progress (as is parenting!) and I am hoping to discover some answers in the course of writing this blog.  The hardest part of it all is that I won't know if it all works until my kids graduate and go to work.  My ultimate goal is to raise two amazing, independent, generous, happy, wonderful kids into two amazing, independent, generous, happy, wonderful adults who also have what it takes to ace the GE interview or launch the next Facebook, whichever path they choose.

I am willing to share what works and what doesn't work for my wife and I and hope that you will feel free to add your thoughts and comments as well whenever it may add value to the discussion.

Welcome to my adventure!


Lawrence Kieffer
"The Headhunter Dad"














As a footnote to this first post, I would like to thank Mirona for the great job on the Headhunter Dad logo design you see on this site.  She is always a pleasure to work with and very professional. You can see more of her work here: http://www.illustration-cartoon.com/

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