With the world in disarray and confused about what’s next, it seems to be a good time to talk to the young people about preparing for their career plans. Most young people see their parents and others in their neighborhood as role models to follow.
In California, Kaiser Permanente Corporation has vowed to provide a medical education to medical students for free. The California State Bar which has the reputation of being one of the most difficult bar examination for lawyers in the country has apparently lowered the qualifications and requirements for passing the State Bar examination.
I have no information on the State’s Nursing Boards, even though they need nurses more than they need Doctors, especially now during the pandemic. I am reminded of the old nursery rhyme, “Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub, the butcher, the baker, the candle sick maker, all going to the fair.“ It seems to me that these three men with careers have a motive to sell their products at the fair.
Young people need a career skill by getting an education and moving to market their skills , be they a barber, hair stylist, tailor, publisher, lawyer or doctor. They could be the proverbial butcher, baker, or candle stick maker. It doesn’t matter. The point is to have a marketable skill and be able to say, “I am somebody and something.”
Today’s commercial world contains multiple worlds. There’s the computer world, graphic world, space world, health world, teaching world, visual arts world, environmentalist world, and finance world. Other categories include traditional careers like electronics, plumbing, construction, property development and Real Estate, Architecture and building, retail and apparel. Other worlds include ministry, CPA, finance, accounting, recreation, automotive and community organizer. In addition to what has been listed, a person in the business world must have some financial information which consists of some understanding of banking, bookkeeping, accounting, investing, markets, sole proprietorship, corporations, partnerships and the law.
Career paths are endless. For example, a career in the apparel arts include designers and salespeople. There are jobs and there are careers that result in becoming your own boss as an entrepreneur. A job is merely a temporary result to a permanent problem. Education ranges from two to four years of college for vocational school for careers such as barber and beauty college, computer technology dental assisting, nursing, teaching or college professor.
Non-traditional careers include mortician, forrest ranger police officer, firefighter, other roles in police and fire departments sound engineering technician, choreographer, claims adjuster, web developer, photographer, camera operator, elevator installers, radiation therapist, web developer, graphic design or content marketing, proofreader, writer or editor, bartender, preschool care worker, substitute teacher or class aide. Check the internet for many, many more suggested careers.
Alternative ways young people may choose a career is through paid and unpaid internships. Over the years in my law practice, I have counseled many young people interested in law, and hired them as interns, so they may have an opportunity to experience the legal field in helping them to determine if they would or would not like to be an attorney or a paralegal. I advise anyone wanting to get into any particular career to even volunteer to work with someone in that field.
In our 31 years of publishing the Journal, my wife Ruthie, and I have hired numerous interns and worked with the local school district’s Academy Program (internship). They experienced the workings of a business office, such as work ethics, business attire, assignment deadlines, office decorum, interacting with customers, publishing, journalism, and reporting.
A story that has served as a guiding light for my life is from a lady who started out as a maid cleaning wealthy white women’s houses. The white women gave her hand-me-down clothing, appliances and furniture. Eventually this lady realized that she could charge for the hand-me-down items to seasonal farm workers who came to Bakersfield to work in the fields. She rented a store-front and put out a sign that said ‘Hopkins Used Clothing and Furniture”. The little store –front became a fixture in town and enlarged into a larger store front, thus launching her career. The proceeds from my mother’s store and my father, Albert’s car polishing business, led to a good life for the Hopkins family. After more than fifty years as owner of Hopkins Clothing Furniture and Antiques made way for the Hopkins’ kids to get college degrees and enter their own careers as educator, college professor, barber and Lawyer.
The family’s twelve room home, was described in book on African American women which included my mother, Katherine Christine Hopkins, stated as follows, “An elegant lady on the hill, marking time and space, overlooking a multicultural neighborhood in central Bakersfield... became famous as a meeting place for the hierarchy of the Church of God In Christ.” It was one of the first large homes owned by a black family on a block where Bakersfield’s first black medical doctor and first black dentist resided. The home, purchased from a white German doctor in 1956, was sold by the Hopkins family in 2020. The lessons learned in that home from family, church members and Bishop’s who visited over the years, have been invaluable .
The primary lesson is that careers can pay off in ways that are not foreseeable but can be very rewarding.