When I first started my career, I was a pastoral manager in a mainstream secondary school. I was the manager of 800 of the most vulnerable children and worked on the child protection team.
One thing that role taught me above all else is that children are underestimated. Children are so wise and they have the capacity to teach us so much if we let them.
They express emotion. They assert their boundaries. They are not afraid to ask for support, and they know their needs.
It was a long time ago that I left the role. But, children still teach me lessons frequently.
This week I had the pleasure of one of the funniest lessons and I wanted to share it with you.
My niece is 7 and she is clever. I mean, scary clever for her age. She also has such dry wit and it continues to astound me where she got it all from.
This week, my sister started to receive emails from big supermarkets confirming her daughters job application. Somehow, she had managed to use her tablet to not only search for jobs, but apply for them too. Never mind the fact that the thought crossed her mind to get a job in the first place!
It didn't stop there...
A few days later my sister got an email saying that her daughters application for the crime scene investigator role had been successful and then they called.
Imagine the phone call. It still sends tears streaming down my face.
"I appreciate the time you took reviewing the application but that was my seven year old. I'd like to withdraw her from the recruitment process...."
When we spoke to her, she told us that she actually wanted a job at a McNameless international restaurant because she wanted free burgers. Failing that, she settled for applying for other jobs so she could pay for the burgers whenever she wanted them.
Like, wow. Right?
In that moment she put a lot of things back into context for me.
1. You can do anything you damn want to.
2. Age and societal expectations shouldn't stand in the way of you following your aspirations.
3. Limiting beliefs are the narrative YOU hold. And that can be reversed.
4. Confidence and self-esteem determines your tolerance and capacity to seeking out and following your purpose.
5. Your goals (whether it be to save for a holiday, buy a house, eat all the burgers) are yours and no one else's. Stay in your lane.
6. There isn't a hierarchy when it comes to careers. Focus on what lights you up and follow that.
7. Everything can be figured out.
Did she teach you anything else?
Whatever you were doing this long weekend, I hope it was great and restful.