Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family + Parents + Kids + Education = Jobs

Guest Post by Dr. T. William Hefferan
Author of
JOBS: How the United States Can Reach Long-Term Full Employment

Education no longer resides in the same nice neat box it once comfortably found itself. Given the contemporary job market, education is a lifelong process. And here’s some old news that’s more important today than ever before: learning is not always found in the classroom.

Continuous education is exciting particularly if it fits your passion for work. The human spirit is based on a yearning to satisfy wonder, on inquiry, and on the need for discovery of new things. One field of inquiry leads to another. The fun part for me is “The more I learn, the more I discover how much I don’t know.”

Learning is not just a means to satisfy our need for excitement, fulfillment, growth and satisfaction; we need a dedicated focus on continuous education to survive in the competitive global marketplace. However, securing a job does not automatically mean a four-year college education. Community colleges, for-profit learning facilities, and nonprofit training facilities will continue to provide low-cost training and education alternatives.

Education continues to evolve -- but we need to expand even further how we think about education. What you get out of education directly relates to how much work you put into your education. In my book, JOBS, I discuss innovation and entrepreneurship in relationship to the evolution of education. I make the case for parents to have a bigger role in educating their children to begin thinking about employment much earlier than tradition suggests.

While I’m not trying to copy the strict educational systems used in South Korea and Japan, I feel that parents need to be more in tune with helping to plan their children’s future at an earlier age. Our current lingering high unemployment is due to a number of factors including globalization, our transition to a more knowledge economy, and lack of innovation to name just a few. Our unemployment issue is not going away until we make significant social changes that include early parent involvement in children’s education about employment.

Parents should introduce their children to the fundamentals of money-management if nothing else so they know how to handle a checkbook when they leave the home. This can begin with the concept of allowance and what that allowance means to the family as a whole. I’m not suggesting that children should be given the idea that everything they do in life relates to money.

When money enters the family equation concerning allowance, money should relate directly to the needs and wants of the child in meaningful ways. The amount of the allowance, in part, needs to relate to an amount of work that it takes to create the money to make purchases for those extras like an iPod. Children begin to relate the way they think about buying things to the value of money relative to how hard it is to earn those dollars.

Yes, they can have everything they want, but do they actually need the item of their dreams? You would be surprised how quickly your child decides against a purchase that costs 6 hours of sweeping the garage! It is such a simple concept, but unless kids really learn that direct and vivid relationship between work and need/want, they never grasp the economic value and importance of work itself.

Many high school students today, ready to graduate, lack the fundamentals about how they will earn a living and someday support a family. Currently between 40% and 50% are graduating from college with a degree that does not translate into employment. Because our society continues to become more complex, this task of preparing kids for the cold, hard world has to begin in earnest much earlier than ever before.

Parents need to have a continuing dialogue so that work, money and responsibility are part of the family experience like family dinners used to be. And that dialogue has to begin as early as when children are 7 or 8 years old.

Parents can help children relate their interests and passions with what could translate in the future into real-world employment. If parents see that their youngster has a passion for music, drawing or making things, kids will benefit from learning how those interests relate to a job and what that job is all about. Mom and Dad can serve as a role model by explaining what they do at work and what work means to them in their lives.

This early education in the family ultimately helps the student better connect the dots between what they learn in school and how it relates to the employment picture in their future. The earlier and more meaningful are these learning experiences, the better prepared kids will be when they face the competitive global economy that grows fiercer every day.

About Dr. William T. Hefferan
With over 23 years of experience as President/CEO of a 100-employee company, Dr. Hefferan decided to put his corporate work experience together with his academic background and solve one of our most significant societal problems. His unique approach to explore ways to end the persistent ups and downs of unemployment includes a peer-reviewed research study he designed specifically to discover ways to solve the problem.

Dr. Hefferan shares with readers his life-changing event that compelled him to dedicate over three years of his life to find these sound solutions, creating a blueprint for America to reach long-term full employment.

Jobs and unemployment concerns are definitely some of the biggest issues facing the United States at this time. If you would like more information about JOBS by Dr. Hefferan or about his organization, Wisdom in the Streets, please visit his website at Order your copy of JOBS: How the United States Can Reach Long-Term Full Employment today on Amazon.


  1. Hello Susan -- Thank you for sharing Dr Hefferan's post on how families are an important part of helping prepare young people for the job market.

    He goes into much more detail on this topic in his book JOBS: How the United States Can Reach Long-Term Full Employment. Obviously finding a solution for the jobs crisis we are facing, must include the next generation of the labor force and future entrepreneurs.

    Nikki Leigh

  2. Hey, just wanted to drop in and say how much I appreciate you taking the time to post this excellent info! Thank you!

    Education in USA


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