When did I become qualified to give career advice, especially to my family? Each time one of my siblings asks for my insight on career decisions, I’m both deeply flattered and slightly surprised.
I’m the oldest of the four of us, so perhaps being the frequent trailblazer for life milestones naturally adds gravitas to my professional perspective. At the same time, as adults, we are all carving our own paths and I sometimes wonder if my experiences are really relevant to their decisions. The weightiness of counseling my nearest and dearest can feed an imposter syndrome, and I worry about passing along bad advice.
And yet, they keep asking: will you critique my resume? What do you think about this job offer? Can we discuss the merits and pitfalls of one field versus another? I take this to mean that any guidance so far hasn’t been detrimental and our conversations might even have been valuable.
Considering all of this, I asked my siblings why they place confidence in my professional advice. They told me, yes, being even a few years older provides a longer view on work and life that’s helpful for early-stage career choices. It also matters to them that we have shared values. Any conversation about our careers can start from an understanding that we want to prioritize life beyond the office even when pursuing our professional goals.
I’m still humbled that my smart, accomplished, and uniquely talented siblings seek out my advice. I’m grateful that I get to play the role of the wise (slightly older) sage on work matters for people whom I love and admire.
While she’s almost an official New Yorker, now that she has spent the past eight years working for a large investment bank in New York City, Jean Blosser still cherishes her Midwestern roots, growing up in Columbus, Ohio. She is an alumnus of Boston College, enjoys her whiskey neat, and blogs regularly at http://www.skylineblossoms.com.