When grades no longer apply

gradesGrowing up we spend many years in school. During those years, we have quizzes, group projects and final exams. Back then it was easy to know where we stood and how we were doing.   At the end of the school year, we got a Grade Point Average to depict our performance for that school year.

As parents, we help shape the future of our children by sharing our knowledge, perspective, and providing guidance.   We can also provide them the foundation of what is it that they need to focus on. Like doing the right thing, religious foundation, be cordial, be respectful or striving to get A’s as symbols of academic excellence.   By focusing on getting A’s, we might influence what they would believe is the goal.

Few months back, my eldest daughter asked me what I meant by doing your best. Does it mean getting A’s? I took that opportunity to impress upon her that what I meant by doing your best is really doing your best at all times.   That would mean that sometimes your best is not an A and that would be okay.   The grade point is a guide and I want them to aim to get better grades each time, but doing their best is what matters the most.

Once they finish college, they are off to the real world in which there are no quizzes and grades to guide them throughout the year. In my opinion, without a proper transition, they are ill prepared to face the challenge of real world.   In the same light that I believe college should provide a course in personal finance, I believe that they also need to provide a course in entering the workforce.   Understanding that they need to be accountable for their career and own it.   How to receive a performance review and ask and receive feedback. Managing expectations and creating a career plan are all essential to enable them to succeed.

Do we want to create a workforce that understands that patience is a virtue and that you own your career.   Without that foundation, they will fail to realize their potential because they will expect other people to take an interest in their growth and development.   These days, doing more with less is the norm that leaves managers less time to focus on growth.   If we leave it to others to map our career plan, chances are it will not get done and we’ll be disappointed.



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