This section is from the book "Scouting For Rural Boys. A Manual For Leaders", by Boy scouts of America. See also: Outdoor Adventure Manual: Essential Scouting Skills for the Great Outdoors.
To help the Scout make a wise answer to this question of "What Life Work?" is to help him stabilize his life and give it direction, interest, enthusiasm and force.
A choice implies a comparison of several different opportunities, and that is precisely what this chapter aims to encourage-exploring and trying out a number of occupations and then making a comparison.
Some want to ask first about an occupation, "What will it pay?" However, this is really less important than its permanence, its chances for growth and advancement, its chance to serve others and have a constructive place in community life, its chance to make the world a better place, and a chance to enjoy one's life work as a fine game.
After counseling with others and seeking to try out opportunities as suggested in this chapter, and after visiting various farms, plants and businesses and investigating carefully certain occupations, the rural Scout will be in a position to make a comparison. It is urged that he be encouraged to make this comparison in some such written form as the following outline:
Kind of Work Contemplated
Is it a profession
Is it a necessity
Is it crowded
Is it seasonal
Is it permanent
Is entry difficult
How does one enter
Minimum age for apprentice
For full employee
Preparation needed (years)
Total Continuing Study and preparation
What Trade Union require-
(Or advantages or limitations
What capital, if any, is necessary to start work in this
What are the hours of work?
What vacations are there?
What wages (or salary) to start? What increases might be ex-
What further financial outlook? What provision for sick benefits?
What effect on one's health? ...
What moral effects in occupation?
What kind of people encount-
What opportunities for social
Does work involve a desirable
Is it a worthy area in which to
Does it afford a chance to be helpful and friendly to people?
In the light of the above rate the
SCOUTS WATCH SUMMER HARVEST-NEW JERSEY
The Scoutmasters, the "Friends and Counselors" and the parents of Scouts may aid in answering some of the questions which arise in the Scout's mind as to whether he is making a wise choice of a life work. If he enjoys the work, enthuses over it, turns out high grade products or service results and forgets the clock while at work, or like Edison even forgets the dinner hour, then he may be on his life's work trail and should be encouraged to pursue the line by further training and preparation.
Leaders, even if they are guidance "experts," should be careful and avoid making life work selections for boys.
In reality there are just four steps. As leaders, we can:
1. Raise the question of "What-in life's work?"
2. Stimulate and aid the boy to find information about various callings or vocations.
3. Stimulate and aid the boy to make actual "try-outs" of the work in which he is interested.
4. Encourage him, in the light of available information, observations and advice gathered, to make his own decision.
Guidance experts would undoubtedly have turned down Demosthenes for a public speaking career!!! or Abraham Lincoln for statesman and President of the U. S. A.