By PREMA JAYABALAN
When my daughter was born two years ago, it was one of the most magical moments for my husband and me. We did not have it easy when it came to having a baby. With two miscarriages and a fully-monitored pregnancy for the third time, our daughter’s safe arrival was indeed a blessing, even though she arrived two months early.
I still remember some of the early conversations my husband had with her. I was happy to see him talking lovingly to our little one until his one statement caught me off-guard.
“Baby girl, you are special and you are going to grow up to help save babies like Dr Liew and Dr Mary.”
My gynaecologist and my daughter’s paediatrician respectively, they both played important roles in delivering and caring for my child.
Hmm…. What happened to letting her choose her own career? I voiced this out to my better half, lamenting that we should not dictate what she should become. She should be allowed to pursue her career of choice.
My husband, however, was insistent that he was not dictating but rather letting her know how noble these professions are. He wanted her to help parents like us in the future. I understood his feelings, considering the trauma we went through.
But then, I also decided that if Shakthisri came back home one day and said, “Amma, I want to become a chef, a diver or a hairstylist,” she would get the go-ahead nod from me. Here is why:
Skilled trades cannot simply be outsourced. If you are good at what you do, then you will be sought after by everyone for the quality of your service.
Take most of us for example, we all have our favourite hairstylist whom we go to simply because that person does wonders to our crowning glory. We do not mind paying a little more when we are ensured that our tresses are in good hands. It’s always that one hairstylist we have been going to and most likely will go to till the end.
2. You are the boss
Almost everyone today, wants to be on top. Being an entrepreneur is high on most Gen-Y’s wish list. Having acquired a skill in the trades enables you to be your own boss.
You have a culinary degree? Great! You can work for a few years to gain experience and then, start your own catering service or eatery. You want the flexibility of working from home? No problem! You can start your own home-baking business and work at your own pace.
3. The money is good
People in the skilled-trades are earning well these days. Some are even earning more than those with white-collar jobs. This is a normal scenario in countries like Canada and the United States. I am sure it’s also happening here in our country. Or else why would we hear of people who have left their corporate jobs to become make-up artists or florists or mechanics? Besides the passion, I am sure the income generated plays a role.
So, my dear daughter, be what you want to be; your parents are behind you all the way (your mother is and we will get papa to say yes too!)
First appeared on Leaderonomics.com. Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 27 June 2015