Careers for Kids at Heart and Others Who Adore Children, 2/e [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Marjorie Eberts & Margaret Gisler
eBook Category: Business
eBook Description: Careers for Kids at Heart and Others Who Adore Children lets career explorers look at the job market through the unique lens of their own interests. The book reveals dozens of ways to pursue a passion and make a living--including many little-known but delightful careers that will surprise readers.
eBook Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies/VGM Career Books, Published: 2002
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2002
Careers for Kids at Heart and Others Who Adore Children
Once you've loved a child, you love all children. You give away your love to one, and you find that by the giving you have made yourself an inexhaustible treasury. -- MARGARET LEE RUNBECK, Our Miss Boo
The way children learn and grow depends on the environment they have. Kids at heart and others who adore children have the splendid opportunity to find careers that will let them play an important role in the lives of many children. These are obviously very important careers, for they will influence the ways in which future leaders, teachers, artists, scientists, and other workers perform their jobs and live their lives.
Working with children is not only an important career in our culture, it is also a very satisfying one. Children idolize their teachers, scout leaders, karate instructors, and youth ministers. They show great affection with frequent smiles, hugs, and kisses for their nannies, babysitters, and child care providers. Your praise is like sunshine to them. Working with children on a day-to-day basis is not just rewarding, it is also an awesome responsibility, for you are molding young lives. You are teaching children basic values as they learn from you to respect other people and property. Furthermore, whenever you are with children, you are a role model demonstrating how to handle people and situations. Children will imitate your actions, so you must constantly be aware of the example you are setting for them. Whenever you work with children, you are shaping the kind of adults they will become.
Do You Really Want to Work with Children?
Are you truly the type of person who wants to spend eight hours a day working with children? If you can answer "yes" to most of the following questions, then you are truly a kid at heart or someone who adores children and should investigate a career working with children.
- Do you take satisfaction in helping children acquire new skills?
- Have you enjoyed being a babysitter, assistant scout leader, or coach of a children's sports team?
- Do you take pleasure in talking to children?
- Do you like to participate in activities with children?
- Are you an avid listener when you have conversations with children?
- Have you thought about what it would be like to have a career working with children?
- Have you talked to several people who work with children about their careers?
An Amazing Variety of Careers
When you consider a career working with children, an astounding number of possibilities emerge. And just as you have a choice of jobs, you also have a choice of working with a wide range of ages. You may choose to work with a particular age group such as newborns, toddlers, preschoolers, elementary school children, or older children in junior high or middle school. Or you can elect to work with children of all ages.
Glance through the following list to explore just a few of the career opportunities that exist for those who want to work with children.
camp counselor or director
child care worker
child psychologist or psychiatrist
family restaurant employee
juvenile court judge
pediatric nurse or nurse practicioner
police officer in the juvenile division
radio, television, or theatrical performer
This book is designed to help all those who are kids at heart and others who adore children to realize their aspirations of finding jobs that will let them work with children. Here is a brief overview of some of the jobs that you will read about in this book.
Careers in Child Care Centers
The good news is that job openings at child care centers are plentiful. The bad news is that these jobs typically provide low wages and few benefits. You can work for nonprofit organizations such as religious institutions, community agencies, school systems, and state and local governments. There are also jobs at centers that are run for profit. Some of these are associated with local or national chains. The possibility of working for a business also exists as more businesses are opening child care centers for their employees. No matter where you work, you have the joy of sharing your life with children and receiving their affection.
Careers in Your Own Home
Imagine never having to think about leaving home to do your job and at the same time being able to take care of children full-time. This can happen if you elect to establish a child care facility in your own home. You will, however, be running a business. And so it will involve such things as acquiring the necessary licenses, obtaining insurance, buying supplies, advertising your services, and hiring others to help you. You also have the responsibility of setting up a program that will help each child develop socially, emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Careers as Nannies
Movie stars, corporate executives, and just ordinary people hire nannies to take care of their young children. So many families want nannies that the demand is far greater than the supply. Here is a job that will often involve twenty-four-hour care of one or more children within the family home. You will plan the children's day and supervise most of their activities, which involve such tasks as bathing, comforting, reading to, disciplining, preparing meals for, and playing with the children. But most of all you will give them the love young children need.
Careers as Babysitters
More than one million people in this country have chosen babysitting as a career. Parents of young children need babysitters when they want to go out for an evening or on a vacation. Working parents need sitters to care for children after school or in the summer. A few babysitters will watch the same children every day, but most sitters supervise different children on a part-time or irregular basis.
Careers in Schools
Young children just love to learn. And they also love their teachers. You can choose to work with very young children in nursery school or Head Start programs. Or you can work as a kindergarten teacher preparing children for elementary school. In the first three grades of elementary school, you will be teaching children basic skills, while in later grades you will expand these skills and teach content-area subjects such as history, health, geography, and English. Of course, you don't have to be a teacher to work at schools as there are jobs for secretaries, librarians, bus drivers, maintenance workers, and cooks.
Careers in Sports and Recreation Facilities
Children are enthusiastic and energetic, and they love sports and all forms of recreation. Many want to become more skilled in a particular area. Others want to investigate new recreational opportunities. No matter if your expertise is camping or karate, there are children who want to learn more about it. The special dividend to careers in sports and recreation is that you and the children will have a great time together.
Careers as Health Care Professionals
Children need skilled help when they are sick and require expert care so that they will remain healthy. Being a health care professional is a perfect job for compassionate people who enjoy working with children. Jobs in this area almost always require special training and licensing. Certain jobs such as pediatric cardiologist or neurologist require years of postgraduate training. Your workplace will usually be at a health care facility such as a hospital, clinic, or doctor's office. Wherever you work, your coworkers will share your interest in helping children. Many times you will work together as a team.
Careers Safeguarding the Welfare of Children
In today's world, all children do not live in perfect or even very good environments. Many children live in homes that cannot provide for their basic needs. Some children don't even have homes. Unfortunately, there are also children who are abused by their parents, other family members, and strangers. Some children do not attend school regularly; others may commit crimes. By being a social worker, police officer, juvenile court judge, court referee, or child advocate, you can have a career helping troubled children and their families. All of these jobs will let you make a real difference in children's lives.
Careers in Arts and Entertainment
The arts and entertainment bring a new dimension to children's life and expand their horizons. What could be more rewarding than helping children explore art, music, dance, and the theater? Or would you prefer to be an entertainer and use your skills to amuse children, as clowns and magicians do?
More Careers Focusing on Children
Wherever you find children, there will be jobs that let you interact with them in some way. Be a children's librarian and you can help children select books. Be a children's photographer, and you can spend time posing them to get the perfect picture for the family album. Be an author of children's books, and you may be as beloved by children as Dr. Seuss was.
Exploring Your Interests
As you have discovered so far in this book, you will be able to work with children in many different jobs. Take the following quiz to define for yourself which areas are most appealing:
1. Would you prefer to work with a specific age group such as newborns, toddlers, preschoolers, or school-age children?
2. Do you see yourself working with one child, a few children, or a group of children?
3. Do you want to work with both children and their families?
4. Do you want to work directly with children or just be involved in activities dealing with children?
5. Are you most interested in a job involved in child care, education, health care, welfare, or recreation?
6. Would you like a job that involves supervising other employees?
7. Would you prefer to work for a small or large organization?
8. Do you want to work in the private or public sector?
9. Would you prefer to work alone or with others?
10. Do you want to own and operate your own business?
Organizations will not hire you just because you adore children and want to work with them. This is not a sufficient qualification; more is required for almost every job that involves the care of children. Even child care workers who have jobs that pay the minimum wage need to have some formal training in most states. Furthermore, most jobs involving the education, health, or welfare of children will require at least a bachelor's degree from college.
Besides formal training, you must have energy and enthusiasm to work successfully with children. For most jobs, you will also need to demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with children as well as their parents. Furthermore, you should be a role model that parents will want their children to emulate.
Many organizations prefer to hire people with work experience. This could be your biggest challenge in landing your first job. Fortunately, such activities as being an assistant scout leader, coaching a team, or volunteering as a tutor will usually be considered a satisfactory substitute for paid work experience. You can get a head start on your career by becoming involved in these activities while you are in high school.
Where the Jobs Are
For kids at heart and others who adore children, jobs can be found wherever there are children. In most communities, even the smallest ones, you will be able to find a job as a babysitter, child care worker, or teacher. However, if you want to teach tennis to children, photograph children exclusively, or be a pediatrician, you will need to live in or near a larger city. You can expect to find the greatest number of jobs working with children in major metropolitan areas where there will be a demand for child psychiatrists, karate instructors, and child advocates.
Finding a Job
Studying newspaper ads, directly contacting organizations, using an employment agency, and talking to friends are all effective ways to find jobs. Becoming familiar with professional organizations and the services they offer can also be a successful job-seeking strategy. Appendix A has a list of the names and addresses of some of these organizations. Frequently, these organizations have journals or newsletters listing job openings. And some organizations even hold job fairs where employers come to actively seek new employees. You can also go to the Internet to association websites and job bulletin boards.
Making a Difference in Others' Lives
Many people work at jobs that they consider very satisfying and rewarding. They like what they do in the workplace and enjoy going to work every day. Furthermore, they take pride in their work. If you truly adore children, a job working with children will bring you all the previously mentioned satisfactions. It will also let you make a difference in the lives of others. By your actions on the job, you will be able to help children get a solid start on their futures. Skilled teachers can successfully impart skills and help children develop a love of learning. Loving caregivers in child care centers can help young children develop confidence in their fledgling abilities. Devoted nannies can fill children's early years with love. Social workers can find excellent foster homes for abused children. No matter what your job working with children is, you will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their young lives.
Copyright © 2000 by VGM Career Books