How to Convince Your Family If You Are the Youngest
Understand what language they appreciate
Transparency is important for a healthy discussion
However old you are, convincing parents about anything new is challenging. You won’t even know what queries they will have, what opinion they will show, whether they will also respect your decision, and how will the discussion affect you emotionally. If a person [read parent] has earned livelihood the hard way for a long time, say 50 years, then just talking about smart work (and expect them to believe) feels like a shortcut if not explained correctly.
They have earned a living from sweat and blood. Talking just about how smart you are in your work invites suspicion which transparency and authenticity can remove.
Mostly my family is concerned about my career decisions. The idea of working from home for just a few hours ( max 3 hours daily ) and earning a stable income is a new thing that did not exist at their time. They did not see the power of the internet in their childhood. They know about hard physical work. They ventured away from home every day to feed us.
It is natural if they expect the same for us.
Career decisions should not be forced
First, we study hard to excel in school, which is understandable. Then get the right college. Okay. Believable. I went with roughly 4 hours of daily sleep for two years when preparing for IIT.
Then IAS or government service? I mean what? Are you out of your mind? Why did I go to IIT then?
This conversation still happens whenever I talk about my work with my father, and he tells me about the advantages of government services and why I should start preparing as early as possible. But with time, this conversation is fading.
I had to convince him about my decision, which did not happen in one day. I ensured complete transparency while answering every query he raised. The generation gap is the point I bring up whenever I feel like he is reluctant to view my perspective. If I am respecting his viewpoint, then he should reciprocate too.
He will advocate what he has seen, lived and experienced his whole life. That’s what everyone wants to talk about: their experience, their struggles and their work. But this experience is different for everyone, and we should start respecting that.
I told him, “If you have sent me to IIT, respect that decision. You did it for a strong reason. Understand that I am with the brightest minds of the country with high thinking standards and my self-awareness regarding career and life is at an all-time high.” I not only built a career in college. I understood life and made great connections too.
If time is the most valuable resource for you, everything else fits
If I try something new, then I plan for it from the starting itself. I have a roadmap for it. I have prepared for all contingencies and adversities that may come. Time is the only resource that I want to exploit, and everything else falls into place. I can’t stress it enough.
Listening to this kind of words from the youngest child still feels like some kind of philosophy. But it’s not. These are just my controlled thoughts that are guiding me in triggering conscious actionable steps every day. I want my silent efforts to make the noise.
He doesn’t give his opinion nowadays on which career path I should take. But whenever I want to talk about his job and how he is working in government services, I’m all ears because the discussion goes nonstop. We have fun talking about careers now because that is how it should be.
Job preference is a personal choice, and I think it always has to be. You can work for yourselves, you can work for your family, you can work for a community, or you can serve the country. But you will maintain it only when dedicating your heart and soul into it.
“Agree to disagree” is also the tool I use many times and also appreciate my friends to practice this if they want to maintain secure connections. It helps me maintain quality relationships.
Convincing parents doesn’t have to be hard if you are the youngest, and they have experience. We just need to tap the open-minded area of their brain and explain our perspective in a language they will appreciate. We are answerable to them. Nonetheless, we want them to understand our decision with full trust.
This blog belongs to a series of posts I am publishing in this 100-days streak. Today is day 35. Navigate to the end of the article 22 for the references from day 23 onwards. If you would like to read the ones before day 22, here is the first one that documents them in the end.