Part of being a bar owner, aside from punch-dodging and pretending that you remember people, is that sometimes you need to take the bull by the horns. Or in my case, the quiz night by the microphone. After some flamboyant appearances ‘pon da mic’ in London, I found myself labelled a Quiz Master.
Since making Aliyah in October, I have since brought this skilled art form to Israel and formed ‘Pub Quizrael’ – the premier English speaking pub quiz in Israel. Didn’t he do well?
It made me realise, that actually my personal skills are absolutely leant to Quiz Mastery. So this should be my job.
If my careers advisor had asked me aged 16 – ‘what do you like to do and what are you good at?’ I’d probably have replied ‘Geography and English’. So maybe we should be pressing teenagers further and asking: what are you actually good at? What gets you going? A teenage me could have said then with relative confidence that I like making jokes… I’m into facts and knowledge…public speaking…doing impressions of Liam Gallagher to people who don’t know who he is…. But I was still pushed down the slide of professional pursuit and further education. Note to all young readers – if you’re being sent to Uni and don’t know what to study – try Theology. Minimum lecture time, maximum Bible and a dissertation entitled ‘Ezekiel 16: A Feminist Approach’.
Most of my friends are ‘professionals’. They have weekends off and own suits. Many of them earn great wages doing boring things, like counting other people’s money, assessing how risky something is, or they are simply ‘in law’. Strikingly, many of them don’t really like their work, or worse; feel apathetic towards it.
My grandparents and many of their peers were first or second generation immigrants, with the adopted policy of ‘new-place-head-down-learn-the-trade’. It is no surprise therefore that with an emphasis on ‘getting on’ and improving things for the next generation, my grandparents and subsequently my parents thought education was the route via which one’s lot could be improved. And that’s quite a logical step.
But the point is, we are not that generation. The world has changed and has bizarre and brilliant possibilities. The tragedy is that youngsters don’t get told about all the fun things that talented (or untalented but persistent) people can do.
Parents – please read this and think: how can a 17-year-old, who cares only for driving lessons, cheap cider at house parties and the ambition of chest hair, possibly make a fully informed and committed decision on behalf of their future selves? Think of the changes one makes in that period – from impressionable upstart to balding, tax-paying/dodging adult. As we all change throughout life, it’s those guys at that age who change the most.
Whilst I believe that a good education is essential and certainly can broaden horizons – and I’m definitely grateful for mine – it may not always need to lead us down the vocational path. In the modern world, vloggers for example can make more dollar than corporate lawyers.
But also, don’t kid the youngsters into thinking that anything is possible and that anyone can just pick up the camera, point it at their face and ker-ching their way through life. No; let them realise their strengths and guide them to use those assets to their advantage. That way, not only will they stand more chance of being motivated in work – they have a great chance of enjoying it too.
And what about those, who don’t know what to do? Or are unsure about the things they like, or are passionate about? Not everything can be monetised and be sculpted into a living; sure. I imagine most young people, and even those a little older, have this doubt and uncertainty. It would just seem a shame, that when the route to career happiness may seem unclear, that one would just take the paved, straight brick path – when maybe the scenic route, with its ups, downs and rocky terrain would be more enjoyable if you just changed your shoes.