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New Salem - December 20, 2006

Counselor’s Corner

© 2006
Dr. Gaylynn Becker
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School

Merry Christmas!

It’s the holiday season again! What a great time of the year! Many families and loved ones get together to visit and to celebrate achievements and accomplishments from the year that is about to come to a close and to welcome in the new year.

Of course, people also get together for religious purposes that tend to be a very important part of people’s lives, in this part of the country. Religion was always an important part of the lives of the early settlers who came to this country. My Becker ancestors were Germans from Russia. They came to this country in 1884. My wife’s ancestors came around that time too. Their religion was one of the things they could bring with them that reminded them of home – Germany & Russia. It is one of the things that helped them to continue to push on and work in the toughest of times in both the heat of the summer sun as well as in the bitter cold winters. It seems like no matter where one goes in this world, the traditions that we learn as children seem to stick with us. Just like the tradition of getting together at the holidays and of course going to church.

I’m like most people I know. I look forward to Christmas. While I was a kid it was a lot about presents and the church. However, as I get older – or should I say mature – the best present is to be with our son, Karl. Although we visit with him frequently via e-mail and by phone, nothing is quite like having him home. While he is here, I sure want to communicate to him how much he means to us and that we will love and care about him no matter what he does – good, bad, or indifferent. We love him because he is our son. This concept is an important concept for each of us. I hope that Karl passes this on to his children too.

This concept is also important as it impacts our children’s career plans. I think children and young people who know that their parents care about them no matter what they do are freer to pursue the career interests that are meaningful to them. If the career path they are interested in - whether in grade school, high school, college, or even after college - isn’t what they thought it would be, I hope they feel confident enough to say, “This isn’t what I thought it would be. I think I’ll explore some additional career options.”

It is sad to hear of people who get training in one area and refuse to consider other options even if they hate what they do and dislike having to get up in the morning to go to work. Of course, another option is to get the same type of work in a new setting. As I mention to my students, “If you get into the right job you will never have to get up in the morning to go to work. You will want to get up and go to work!” Perhaps not each and every day will be like this but hopefully many of them will be so that overall you really like your job and what you do.

I hope that this holiday season can be the same great time for you that it will be in our household. Traditions learned early in life – good or bad – stay with us a lifetime. They impact what we do, and how we view the world. I hope that you continue to practice those traditions that you want to continue to be handed down through the generations. Once a generation misses a tradition, that tradition is no longer passed down. Our traditions are part of our legacy.

Merry Christmas!

For more information on career information and links, please go to If you have any questions on career, counseling, or assessment topics, please contact me at either New Salem High School at 843-7610, or at my residence at 222-3222.

Have an excellent academic day!