Careering Off Course

I thought the days of parents expecting their kids to go into the family business were over. As it turns out, my family is waiting expectantly for me to take up the family trade of funeral directing. It’s not that I wouldn’t go into that field, all other things being equal. It more that I can’t stand the idea of working with my parents and brothers day in, day out for the rest of my life.

More to the point, I resent that they expect me to do this. It’s like, I don’t remember signing up for it at any point. I’ve never even expressed much of an interest in it, as far as I recall, beyond your bog-standard ‘this is what my folks do for a living’ type of interest. I’ve never had a problem with bodies, or with the concept of death, or wild displays of grief, and I guess that makes me uniquely qualified for the role… but then, we’re all uniquely qualified for something, and that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to do it. 

Maybe I should speak to a youth career advisor. For Melbourne students, this is generally provided at school, but I’m home schooled (of course), so the only careers advice I’ve had access to has been from my parents. I really haven’t had the opportunity to formulate a career direction for myself, so now I’ve got nothing to counter my parents’ expectations with. 

Maybe my career path is to become a career counsellor. Within Melbourne, there are surely quite a few people like myself who simply don’t know what their path is. I could empathise with their position, and… I don’t know. What do career counsellors do, anyway? I wouldn’t know, not having met with one. 

At the very least, if I tell my parents I’m set on going into careers consulting, they might get off my back about the funeral directing thing. It’s a good cover story, and it might eventually put me in contact with an actual careers advisor.