The Time to Give Advice

If you asked me today, I would say that I would be just as happy and supportive if my son came to me and said he wanted to take a year off before going to college and try building something new to see if he even wanted to go to college at all as if he said he wants to go to an Ivy League University. Of course, when you found out that my son is currently 2 years old you’d think I was crazy to even be thinking about that.

Fast forward 16 or so years in the future to his Junior or Senior year of High School and the exact same scenario above and I wonder if I would be as happy and supportive since it’s closer to decision time. The question is: what advice would you give someone when some of the pressures or constraints aren’t there vs. when they are and which advice is better?

For instance, have you ever had a friend get laid off and you’re more than willing to offer career advice about what s/he should do next? Why didn’t you have that conversation before? Is the advice you offer during the time of layoff different than what it would have been when s/he was more seemingly secure in the job? Which advice is better, which advice will they listen to and benefit from more?

I am attempting to document some advice for my kids before we actually ‘need’ it. If nothing else, it’ll be something they can use to remind me of the more thought through advice I wrote down for them if I get caught up in the moment and hopefully it’s something they digest before they actually need it so they can make their own decision.

What insight or advice do you have for someone else in your life now, when they might not ‘need’ it? More importantly, how about advice for yourself?

Matt Kane

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