Defying Your Parents’ Expectations

So what should we choose? Expectations or ambitions? A safe security blanket or the uncertain, obstacle-flooded tunnel with a glimmer of light protruding the periphery? Living weekday to weekend, or enjoying every adrenaline-saturated moment of success as a result of your burning passion? Reassurance from others, or the inner calling beating through your chest in search of your inevitable destiny? But the ultimate question still posed is; should we, or should we not sacrifice our own craving to prevent the disappointment and detachment from our loved ones?

~ Natasha Schapova

I’m quite new to scavenging for my parents’ approval. For most of my life I’ve been lucky enough have them be proud of my choices. But of course there will always be some differences in the views of parents and children. So to finish my intro, allow me to give you some tips on how to make a plausible confession to your parents about your true passion.

  1. Ensure that you are certain that this is what you want to be doing for the rest of your working life.
    • Before you convince anyone else, have you convinced yourself that you are eager to pursue a career in that field? There’s no point persuading anyone to agree with your goals if those goals were only short bursts of boredom that resulted in you choosing a different career pathway. Make sure that you haven’t chosen another pathway simply because you were bored of your previous one that you’ve been dreaming about for the majority of your life. If you’re stuck between two options ask yourself: if someone told you that you HAD to do a Bachelor of Business instead of your other option (Bachelor of Science), for example, would you be disheartened? Would a part of you be uneasy with this outcome? Are you conflicted because one career promises stability while the other promises pleasure?
  2. Be confident in yourself and in your choice.
    • No parent is going to agree with your views if you aren’t certain of them yourself. They’re also going to be quite concerned if even you don’t believe that you would be able to achieve your ultimate goal. Saying you dream of doing something is very different to actually doing it. Too many of us waste our time fixated on goals in which we have not invested any of our beliefs or effort in to. Tell them that YOU CAN and YOU WILL make it in to your desired industry, say it so confidently that not only your parents will believe it, but also you.
  3. Show them that you are willing to work hard.
    • Your dream job may be one that is extremely competitive and has a below-average or average salary. But there’s always someone who will get the job, right? And there’s always someone who is successful in that career; so why can’t that person be you? Show your parents that you are doing everything you can at the moment to be the best in your field (even if you goal, at the moment, is to get in to that university course). If that course has prerequisites or interviews you need to stand out in then START DOING STUFF. Do some work experience, volunteer in the field, build your portfolio, and make sure your parents see how dedicated you are to your dream.
  4. Do some research.
    • If your parents aren’t supportive of your choice then they’ll most likely have some pretty good rebuttals to convince you that you are making a mistake (if you’re not prepared, you’ll believe their points). Make sure they don’t catch you off-guard in this sense. Ensure you know everything there is to know about this profession so that their arguments won’t surprise you. Go to university open days, talk to people in the field, google it, do everything you can to know all the nooks and crevices your desired industry may be hiding. And make sure you have a brilliant argument to stun your parents with your scintillating knowledge.
  5. Talk to them honestly.
    • If you’re sure about your choice then talk to your parents about how you feel. Many of us, kids, underestimate our parents’ kindness and compassion. Many of us also forget that they were kids themselves, once upon a time. Share your feelings with your parents, tell them how you feel about your career options. Don’t forget to tell them what stimulates your drive. If you are truly enthusiastic, they should be able to sense your determination. If you’re honest enough, and open yourself up then they’ll only feel guilty about ripping you away from something that sparks so much zeal in you.


(If these tips don’t work then I suggest pursuing your dream career, anyway)

(Just joking, you shouldn’t disobey your parents)

But in all seriousness, at the end of the day, your career should reflect your passions. It should excite you. Don’t trap yourself in a workplace from 9AM-5PM, Monday to Friday, where all you yearn for is the weekend. A great quote that has always inspired me is:

“The paradox of life: we spend it killing the time and time ends up killing us.”
~ Unknown

Don’t waste your whole life killing the time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s