Fishing is not just for fishermen

Updated: Jun 15, 2019

'With the working world changing at a fast pace and technology evolving even faster, we must prepare our children to fish for their own food instead of waiting for the food to be delivered. Empowerment starts with asking, 'What can I do for the world?', not 'What will the world offer me'. - Maria Vitoratos, Empowerment for Teens

We are living in a generation of fast food, fast home delivery, fast educator differentiated lessons, fast likes on social media and fast support for all things teens by parents and the community. As parents and educators, we are all trying to ensure that our young teenagers are being offered equal opportunities and very limited opportunities to feel letdown by anything and everything. Although all of the support for young people is remarkable, I wonder how much we are really preparing them for the world of work. In fact, rejection at work is inevitable. There will be interviews, projects and proposals that our young people will apply for and potentially experience rejection on numerous occasions. This is the reality of the world of work. Our bosses will not consider our emotional well-being, it will all be about business and the ROI for the organization. Is this the ideal? No, but it is the reality.

So, how do we prepare our youngsters for the realities of work? Easily, we must begin to help them develop their skills for resilience and teach them the skills to recognize that rejection is not a closed door but rather an opportunity to stop, step back and redesign the plan for success without abandoning the goal. Our teenagers today are used to 'easy receiving' and rarely stay the course when things don't come easily. We can learn a lot from fishermen such as patience, resilience and the commitment to returning to their task even if they didn't catch their target number of fish. Teach your teenagers to 'fish for their own food instead of waiting for the food to be delivered'.

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