(For more Promoting Professional Geekery, see this Roundup of past columns.)
When did you first realize your hardcore geekdom was a possible career? Me, I think I was about 7 or 8.
I was into science and medicine and such, and already figured that’d be my job. I got some encouragement from my family, and even more later on in my life. It probably helped that only a few people even knew what the hell I was talking about, but at least no one tried to derail me.
And, decades later, it worked out pretty good.
So if you want to promote the professional geek ideal start helping out young people. They’ve got enough challenges to face right now with a failing economy, bad school systems, poor . . . er, wait, I’m depressing myself.
Let’s focus on the positive. If you’ve got a way with the younger generation, from experience with your own children to recently having been the younger generation, start helping them out. Bring them into the progeeky fold.
Here’s ways where you can start helping progeeky kids with an early step up:
- If you do the con scene, do events for young creative, geeky, technical people. Crafty things, fun events, what have you.
- Teach, work with, or other wise help at youth events and clubs.
- Encourage your local schools to start after-school classes or events on careers that you (and your friends) can speak and advise on.
- If you have kids of your own, younger siblings, or friends with kids, always be supportive of them career-wise. Even if you don’t have children, the kids and their parents may give you ideas of how you can do more.
- If you write, then consider books for a younger set on career issues.
Think of what you can do to educate, help, and support. For that matter, think how many parents may be thrilled that their children are getting some career ideas early that they also enjoy. That helps a lot when they look at the cost of college.
Come to think of it the parents are someone you should keep in mind, and that’s for next column . . .