DEAR HARRIETTE: My family doesn't agree with my career choice. I want more for myself, much more than what my family provides me with.
I've always dreamed of becoming a pediatrician. It's a hard dream to have when your family doesn't support you. Year after year, everyone in my family just married and went into the family business. I love the fact that my great-great-grandparents were brave enough to start their own businesses; however, that's not what I want for myself. I want to save lives and help parents ensure that their child is growing up to be healthy -- emotionally and physically.
I truly believe that children are our future, so we have to look out for them from the beginning. My parents don't quite agree. They understand my mission, but feel as though me being a doctor comes with too many risks. They think it's safer and more reasonable to just go into the family business because a job there would be a lot more secure.
My family hasn't said if they would cut me off for not going into the business, but they've made it clear that they don't support me in this career choice. I understand their concerns, but I don't want to spend my life working somewhere that doesn't make me happy. -- Going Against the Grain, Augusta, Georgia
DEAR GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN: Do your research about completing your education to become a pediatrician. Figure out the costs and how you can pay for your dream. It's likely that you will need your parents' participation on some level. Prepare your argument for becoming a doctor once more, and plead for their blessing. Tell them that your heart assures you that this is what you need to do and you want their blessing. To assuage them, offer that if the medical profession doesn't work out, you appreciate that you could work in the family business. See if that helps.