The following is addressed to the parents of Bermuda.
I am not sure when or why we began teaching our kids to follow their passions, but I am urging you to stop — or to at least change the conversation.
At a time when we are trying to figure out how to get Bermudians “back to work”, we have to be more intentional about the moves we make and the lessons we teach our children.
Besides it never being a good idea to place all your eggs in one basket, it is equally important to note that one’s passions and interests will evolve over time. If you’re deciding to become an employee, then you must recognise that there are employers with needs and a job market that is constantly changing.
If you stop reading this and head over to the “Expiring Work Permit” section of the Bermuda Job Board, you will notice 1,280 expiring work permits across various sectors and industries — nurses, mechanics, housekeepers, project managers and many others.
I know that many of us are enraged when we think about Bermudians competing with non-Bermudians for jobs, but I want to challenge you to look at the amount of work-permit holders and notice a clear indication of what your country needs.
While we wait for immigration reform that allows Bermudians to compete on equal ground, I am asking you to dig a little deeper and think about what it means to equip our young people with the tools they need to compete, mindset included.
When I think about my schooling experience, in both the public and private systems, I can remember being told over and over again to follow my passions, pursue my dreams and do what I love. What they forget to mention was that my passions and interests would change over time.
Rather than teaching your kids to follow a passion that will inevitably change, let’s help them map out a plan that will develop their talents and increase their value.
To anyone that feels that Bermuda has no job for you, let’s change the conversation and focus on what you can offer your country.
If you can’t make this shift, I’m afraid you’ll be left behind.