Career Planning for a Fourteen year-old

My youngest daughter, currently a 9th grade student, recently took some guidance tests to help her focus on careers for which she is deemed to have aptitude. In no particular order, here are her results:

  • Military Officer (no complaints)
  • Graphics designer (ditto)
  • Sailor (chip off the old block)
  • Bartender

Now, for the record I like a good bartender, though as a beer drinker I’m not one to gauge the mixologists’ talents. And, also for the record, bartending is not a career to be disparaged, or shunned. Unless it’s being brought to your fourteen year old daughter as a career choice. I’m not against a broad range of choices, but, bartender?


  1. Acually, I’ve noticed that working in an ED is alot like bartending…

  2. If you combine them all, she can be a bartender on a navy ship who draws pictures on the napkins to keep the drunk sailors amused.

  3. I am dying to know what the profile looks like for someone to have bartender come up on their career options. A good listener, likes drunk and unruly people, good at multi tasking? Sounds like an EM doc to me.

  4. This sounds like the “aptitude tests” that my children did under the sponsorship of the Armed Services. The side effect is that your child may be interminably contacted by recruiters whether she tells them to stop or not.
    Not meant to be a personal dig against the Armed Services, but makes you wonder if Brown-Forman distillers have some input.

  5. Geez, way to aim high and set expectations for her. At this rate she might as well drop out in two years.

    Bartender shouldn’t be on these career choices.

  6. autolycos says:

    C’mon. There always has to be the “piano player in a whorehouse” job on those.

    At least they didn’t say “med-mal lawyer”.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know guys, you can’t knock the really good ones…When my brother came home from Vietnam and told my parent’s he was going to school to become a mixologist my Dad hit the roof…He attended some type mixologist school in Columbus Ohio, worked for a few years in Westerville mixing drinks at the Golf Course and then moved to WPB Fla..Eventually he met a woman who also was a bartender, they got married and opened their own place directly across from the court house in Palm Beach Fla….They saved their money and eventually moved to Trenton and now own their own supper club in NY….They live on “easy street”…..Oh, they neither one have ever drank either!!

    My other brother is an “internist”, guess who has the most net worth?

  8. I took those tests in high school too. I know they said I could have been a Naval officer. My answers were fairly focused in the math/science/technical areas. There was some score that measured the spread of your interests. My score showed that I was fairly focused. My guidance counsellor said that that was not good. I should have wide ranging career interests, so I could go into many different careers. But, Sister, I want to go to medical school. Yes, my child, but you should have wide interests so you can do anything. But, Sister, I don’t want to do “anything”. I want to be a doctor.

    Back then, they thought there were too many teachers, so they were pushing nursing & secretarial jobs on us at my all-girls school. My 10 yr reunion was a trip. We had tons of lawyers & MBAs in our class. I was one of only 2 docs who was NOT on call that night & could attend. After a few decades, one would hope that a school that boasted a 90+% college acceptance among the seniors has found guidance counsellors who can direct them to more than secretarial school. (Nothing against secretaries, but there are other career opportunites for girls.)

    Tell your daughter to follow her muse.

  9. At least “You want fries with that” wasnt in there!

  10. SylviaRN says:

    My daughter WAS a bartender in Dallas before she went into the navy. She was making a little over $30000 while I, an RN was making about the same, go figure. Before she went into the navy, she realized she did not want to be sitting on a bar-stool at the tender age of 30. She wanted to “do” something. (She was a student at UTA when she was 16, so the brains are there) She has a pilots license and is an air traffic controler and loves it. So give your daughter a break. HAHA She will be fine.

  11. Career planning for a 14 year old? What are they thinking? Are they using tests from 30 years ago? I figure the careers for my 17 yo aren’t even in the pipestream yet. My daughter is looking at colleges. Thanks to my dad’s grandchild investment planning in 1975 (when he assumed he’d have 16 grandchildren, with the youngest entering college in 2004–reality is six grandchildren, with the youngest entering college in 2019)–there’s not a lot of decisions-based-on-funding.

    I have three kids. The oldest thought he’d be a professional musician. He is now teaching in kindergarten. The middle one fell in love with poltical science, and now is in a PhD program in political science, probably will be a policy wonk. The youngest, in high school — who knows?

    It dawns on me that “bartender” has a lot of overlap with “good listener” which has a lot of overlap with, say, the better kind of therapist.