la piqure
Joyeux Anniversaire, Chief Grape!

parler métier

I believe I can fly (c) Kristin Espinasse
"She going places... only, sometimes, she wonders just where... " (pictured our 13-year-old daughter, Jackie)

parler métier (par lay may tyay)

    : to talk shop

Example Sentence: Aujourd'hui, Jackie vous invite de parler métier avec elle: est-ce que vous avez un boulot qui vous plaît? Today, Jackie invites you to talk shop with her: do you have a job that you like?

"Mon Futur Métier" by Jackie Espinasse

Note: the following letter was written by 13-year-old Jackie. Mille mercis to our friend Newforest, who edited the French text. For the ENGLISH VERSION, click here.

Bonjour à tous. Vous allez bien? Moi, ça va "nickel"! J’ai une question à vous poser, (si vous pouviez y répondre j'apprécierais beaucoup). Est-ce vraiment aussi dur qu'on le dit de trouver du travail? Je me pose beaucoup de questions à ce sujet, car (malheureusement) moi je n’ai pas beaucoup de notes brillantes!

En ce moment, les professeurs nous répètent tout le temps qu'on doit savoir dès maintenant quel métier on fera quand on sera grand. Quant à moi je suis un peu perdue car je n’ai pas trop d’idées à propos de ce que je voudrais faire dans l’avenir.

Travailler dans la mode pourrait être la solution idéale car LA MODE me passionne! Le problème c’est que ça va être dur de trouver un patron qui veuille d’une fille qui n'a pas de bonnes notes. Ils préfèrent celles qui ont un bon bulletin!

Vous allez tous me dire: "IL FAUT TRAVAILLER !" Je suis d'accord mais j’ai vraiment peur de me retrouver dans un métier que je n’aimerais pas....
Choisir un métier pour l'avenir, ce n’est pas aussi facile que ça ... je vous le dis!
S’il y a des gens qui travaillent dans le domaine de la mode, SVP donnez-moi quelques idées sur votre métier. 

Merci d’avoir lu.


Le Coin Commentaires
Do you have a response for Jackie? Can you relate to Jackie's "what to be when I grow up?" dilemma? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us in the comments box.

English Version: I have put my translation in the comments box. Corrections welcome! :-) 

=> To read Jackie's previous story, about the right to wear makeup, click here.



- nickel = nickel.  It also means spotless, spick-and-span (objects, a room...)  
- ça va "nickel" -> familiar for "ça va très bien, tout va parfaitement" = everything is fine  
- trouver du travail -> here, travail = employment
- dès maintenant = as from now
- un métier = a job, a profession
- être un peu perdu(e) = to be a bit lost, a bit hopeless
- le patron = boss, employer
- les bonnes notes = good marks, good results at school
- le bulletin = school report
- il faut travailler = we / you've got to work
- je suis d'accord = I agree
- l'avenir (masc) = the future

Near the town of Jonquières: a mustard-flower patch beneath the olive trees. Beyond, the rosemaries share their spot in the sun with so many dried leaves. 
"Going Places" with Braise and Smokey. To the left is le ruisseau, or little brook -- the water there feels so good to these furry, webbed feet! The vines to the right belong to our neighbors, Jean-Marie and Brigitte.

51Qckm1DSfL._SL500_AA280_ I Heart Paris Shopper: made of recycled material

French Demystified...simple enough for a beginner but challenging enough for a more advanced student.

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Kristin Espinasse

Here is my translation to my daughter's story. Have any corrections or suggestions? Don't hesitate to let me know!

"My Future Profession" by Jackie Espinasse

Hello everyone. How are you doing? Me, I'm doing great! I have a question to ask you (If you could answer I'd really appreciate that):

=> Is it really as hard as they say to find work?

I'm asking myself a lot of questions about this topic, because (unfortunately) I do not have the best grades!

Lately, the teachers are repeating again and again that we must know, as early as now, what profession we will practice when we are all grown up. As for me, I'm a little lost because I don't have so many ideas regarding what I want to do in the future.

Working in fashion might be the ideal solution because I am passionate about LA MODE! The problem is that it is going to be hard to find a boss who is looking for a girl with bad grades. They prefer those who have a good report card!

You are all going to tell me "YOU'VE GOT TO STUDY!" I agree... still, I am so afraid of ending up with a job that I would not like.

Choosing a job for the future is not as easy as that... I'm telling you!

If any of you out there work in the fashion industry, please give me some ideas about your job.

Thanks for having read this.


For the French version of this story, click here:


Grades don't always count Jackie, but motivation does. Be your own "patron" and then you don't have to care what the boss thinks of your "notes". Good luck choosing your "metier"!

Mike Hardcastle

Cher Jackie,

J'ai utilisé un livre moi-même assez tard dans la vie pour un changement de carrière et il a recommandé à mes étudiants.

Disponible en France chez Amazon:



Ma from Brasil

Salut Jackie
When I choose my job (I'm a dentist ) I wanted something to help people, something I could rule my time (I made it in my own office).I loved Biology,
Think about what do you like and your mood...and good luck dear!

Cynthia Maranian

Jackie, as a former small business accountant, I can say that even though you may choose a job where you are your "own boss", you always have to answer to someone -- usually your customers and/or the bank. Having your own business can be very rewarding, but as I'm sure your father can tell you, it's not always easy. If you have a creative spirit, look at what you enjoy, become a passionate student in that subject, then see if you can do it better than the average person. Try to create a "Win/Win" situation: you enjoy your job (win)and you give something to others that they enjoy(win). And you can tell your dad that he has definitely created a Win/Win, thereby making the world a happier place!


Thanks for Jackie's blog post--indeed, it is so hard to discover what you love and then DO IT. My French is still proficient enough to read her essay without help or dictionary (bravo moi!). Have a wonderful week--Spring is here. Mary

angela billows

I worked in 'La Mode' as a Costume Designer on films and commercials.....its fun when you're young, traveling etc. but its hard being freelance and always looking for the next job....also very competitive and only really rewarding if you're one of the few at the top. Maybe you could start your own fashion blog for your friends, put together little shoots with clothes and looks you like and your favourite shops etc. even what you wish for.....who knows where that might lead.....

angela billows

By the way that house in London has nothing to do with belongs to my blog designer and has somehow got linked to me. My link is about that

Carolyn Kruse

Dear Jackie,

I would suggest that you follow your interests knowing that you can change your mind about what you want to do later. About those grades... mine were great but, when you think about it, Sir Richard Branson never finished high school. He has done pretty well founding Virgin Airlines, Tower Records and other businesses.

If you are interested in fashion, perhaps there are ataliers (sp?) that you could work with to see what the realities of design and execution would be for creating clothing. Also, in the US there are lines of cosmetics based on wine grapes... Just a thought!


Dear Jackie
You sound like a very bright student to ME!
My daughter works for herself in the fashion industry,making shoes,which she LOVES. Unfortunately she never is able to stop worrying WHERE & IF the next job is coming from. I think this is a very difficult,stressful industry to work in & it seems very unusual to succeed by yourself.
Good luck dear girl

Dana Strout

Hi Jackie - You are at one of the most difficult stages that any young person faces in a country where you are expected to make a career choice before you really know much about life or more importantly, yourself! Perhaps, one of the major differences between our respective countries is that in the U.S. we can constantly re-invent ourselves, while from what I have heard about France, you must make career choices while still a teenager.

I am a lawyer and have worked primarily for myself for 35 years. No one tells me how much (or how little) I can earn, when I can take a vacation, when I get a promotion. On the other hand, there is no paycheck waiting for me at the end of the month, no one to buy my health insurance, etc. If you can handle working for yourself, it can be a great life, but it is stressful. But then, so again is a life where you wonder if you will lose your job because the boss or the company made some bad decisions or the economy went south.

I became a lawyer when I was 25 and didn't really know what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was in my late 30's and realized that I was already there. My advice is to choose something that gives you as many options as possible so that you are not tied to one thing that you find out you dislike later on.

Perhaps your parents would send you to the US for a year or two to live with friends or family and study here. You would find an entirely new world opening up to you

Bonne chance Jackie! Life is what you make it.


paris (im)perfect

I agree with Dana. This is one of the thing that fascinates me about France (and makes me thankful that I grew up in the US). I don't think young people should be told they *have* to know what they want to do at such a young age. Where is the room for discovery? They are just discovering themselves! (Of course, the problem with the flip side is that I'm in my 30s and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up :)

Jackie sounds super smart and is already on the right track by identifying her passions. Follow your interests and the rest will follow. Bon courage!

Bill in St. Paul

I think that in this day and age that what job you initially have will not be the job you have five or ten years later, so what you really need is a broad background in the basics with the ability to learn quickly. My father worked for the same company all his life. My father-in-law also worked for only one company. One generation later I've worked for at least eight different companies. Your career or area of expertise may remain somewhat the same but the specific tasks/jobs will change depending on what's hot in your industry and who your employer is. So learn to adapt to change and keep up to date with the changes in your industry, whether you're working for yourself or an employer.

Sam Mooney

Hi Jackie

That was a terrific letter and I hope that you get answers that help you.

Reading "What Color is Your Parachute" might give you some ideas. Another thing that might help is the Myers Briggs personality test -

You might find that do a lot of different things in your life. The most important things are to know yourself, learn what you love, try new things and be open to new ideas.

Angela suggested that you start a fashion blog. That's a good idea. Think of all the things you'd learn how to do while you're involved with something you love.

Good luck and remember, you can always change your mind. Nothing is carved in stone.

Mike Hardcastle

Hi Jackie,

Il est agréable de voir que quelqu'un d'autre est d'accord avec moi au sujet de 'What Colour is Your Parachute' (Sam Mooney). C'est vraiment un livre super.




Kristin, one point in your translation attracted my attention
-> Jackie's "Il faut TRAVAILLER" became exclusively: "You've got to STUDY"... which is absolutely right in this context, of course. This reflects ever so well the parents' attitude and concern towards their 13-year old daughter (or son)... Get on with your 'studies' and do your best! It'll pay off. 'To study' broadens your mind, makes you curious, fuels your enthusiasm, imposes discipline (can be good fun too!)... It also develops confidence, knowledge and abilities you'll need later on in life, whatever your job and responsibilities.

Here I am Jackie, underlining the fact you've got to ... 'study'! I don't have a lot of time now but will be back late this evening). Anyhow, here is what I'd like to say:
Tu as déjà un très grand avantage, car tu as au moins une idée précise sur le domaine qui t'intéresse. Bravo! Dans ce domaine de la Mode, il faudra petit à petit que tu trouves ta propre "niche". Prends ton temps et sois bien organisée!

Fais une liste de tous les métiers possibles qui se rattachent directement et indirectement à la Mode. Avec l'aide de l'internet et des professeurs qui s'occupent de "l'Orientation scolaire & professionnelle", ajoute pour chaque métier les diplômes nécessaires et la formation professionnelle requise. C'est très important!!
Tu auras aussi des idées venant de ce "Coin Commentaires". Prends note de tout ce qui te semble intéressant pour TOI, sans tomber dans la confusion. Il y aura des idées et conseils "à prendre", et d'autres "à laisser".

Avec tous ces renseignements clairement présentés sur écran ou sur papier, procède par élimination. Tu arrivereras ainsi à te faire une meilleure idée du métier qui te conviendra plus tard dans la vie. Dans l'immédiat, ton choix (ou tes choix) de métier orientera la suite de tes études secondaires!

Oh, pense aussi à un autre domaine que celui de la Mode. On ne sait jamais, et puis, comme dit le proverbe ... "Il vaut mieux ne pas mettre tous ses oeufs dans le même panier"!

PS Chaque individu est unique et doit faire sa propre orientation. A ton âge, ma fille aimait la mode, certes, mais pas pour en faire un métier! Elle adorait tous les animaux et s'occupait avec passion de sa volière et de ses cochons d'Inde. Non, elle n'est pas devenue vétérinaire!

Sabrina DiMichele

J'ai quarante-neuf ans, et je n'ai pas trouve' le metier parfait pour moi-meme. J'etais etudiante avec des tres bons notes, et j'ai ete avocat pour longtemps. J'etais miserable! Je continue a chercher ce que me plait et ce que je peux bien faire. Mon avis? Faites tous ce que vous pouvez - voyager, lire, parler avec beaucoup de gens en des metiers divers. Surtout - ne laissez pas des autres vous gener et vous presser de choisir trop tot!

TK in MD

Cher Jackie-
You have made a good start by thinking about your passion(s).

Might I suggest volunteering or looking for an internship in an area of interest? This will give you more ideas about what might fit for you. It also gives you experience in your field which is more important than grades. Also, companies that you've been interning/volunteering for are likely to offer you a paying job if they like your work!


PS à la maman de Jackie:

J'adOoooore la photo at the top of this newsletter.
Excellent action shot!
Perfect composition!
Graceful silhouette!

Merci aussi for "les scènes champêtres" offering such a pleasing contrast of 'green, yellow & blue' ... and thank you too for the cheerful linear scene with vines, path and "ruisseau". Happy dogs!!!


La vie peut être un parcours complexe. Il est important d'avoir un plan, mais aussi de rester ouverte aux opportunités qui pourraient vous amène dans une direction différente. Travaillez, oui--mais voyagez, aussi, et entretenez de bonnes relations avec les gens autour de vous. Bonne chance!


Hi Jackie,

Sorry, not good enough to write in French yet but here are my thoughts (not that I necessarily follow my own advice mind you):

It is not uncommon to not know what career you wish to persue so don't be upset by this or if others around you have already decided they want to become astronauts or reality tv stars.

It is better to consciously choose a direction, even one you are unsure about, than to drift lost on the currents of the meaningless and uninspiring jobs that seem to abound these days.

Go in the direction you choose with your whole heart. If "La Mode" is the only area of interest to you at present than follow it. You may follow this path your whole life or you may discover a new direction while on your journey.

For many reasons I understand it can be difficult to motivate yourself to work hard at school even when you know in your head it would be beneficial to your future. One thought is to imagine taking charge of your own education...what do you want to learn about while you have all those teachers and textbooks at your disposal?

Bon chance!

Suzanne, Monroe Twp., NJ

Cher Jackie,
It is true that in the States young people often discover their career somewhat later ... in college. But those who decide early are usually those with a passion for something very specific. My goddaughter knew at 5 or 6 that she wanted to be a professional ballerina. She had the talent, the discipline, the opportunity, and wonderful teachers. At the age of 17 she is indeed a professional ballerina. But I think that is the exception rather than the rule.

You are at both an exciting and challenging point. There may be many things you really like such as fashion or horses and riding. The key is finding something that you are very good at ... a career that you can bring something to that is uniquely you. Sometimes what you like and what you are good at are different things.

I love photography, landscaping and writing. What I have a talent for is teaching and managing. As a law school administrator, I help you law students discover their own talents and the best match for them within the varied practice of law. I manage a key department and enjoy the people with whom I work and supervise. I derive a lot of satisfaction from my job. When away from my work, I experiment with my camera, I garden, and I enjoy planning dinner parties and cooking for friends, designing a beautiful table, engaging in wonderful and passionate conversations.

My advice to you while on this journey of discovery about yourself and your future is to find out what you are truly good at while also finding time for your passions.

Nicholas Nixon

Je n'ai aucune idee ce que je voulais faire jusqu'a l'age de 19 ans. Mon universite etait excellent (the University of Michigan), et si je 'n avais pas les bonne notes il me fallait d'aller quelque part moins bien.
La, je me suis rencontree les amis, tres intelligents, plein d'idees et facons de vivre ideals. Un jour, par hazard presque, j'ai decidee prendre un cours de la photographie. Le premier jpour de ce cours, BAM!, coup de l'adorais! Je suis photographe depuis 35 ans, heureux au dela des mots. Goggle-moi si vous voulez regarder que j'avais faits. Bonne chance, bonne question!
Nicholas Nixon
Boston, Mass, USA


I've had four different jobs so far in my life. None of them even existed when I was your age, so how could I ever have known what I was going to do in life.

As you go through life, you will have to adapt to all the changes as they come along. What's important, is not always what you learn, but that you develop the skills to learn new things. Learn how to learn.

As far a finding a job, I found my last three jobs through people I knew from previous jobs. That's the it works sometimes.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Jackie,
It's hard to know what you want to do when you are young. You will change as you mature and what you like when you are young may change later on. My children had a hard time choosing classes in college. My son began with computer science but found out that he just didn't like it and now is in Wildlife Management and loves it! My daughter decided on Environmental Science. If you love fashion maybe try to take some classes over the summer or meet up with some students at a fashion school in your area. I know it's hard but it is good to start thinking about what you would enjoy because you want to love your job!


Dear Jackie,
I spent many years in the Fashion industry. It was thrilling but didn't pay much and was VERY VERY hard work!!!! I went to college as an Art major for 2 years but decided to switch to an art school so I could concentrate on Fashion Design. 2 years later after graduating, I took my portfolio to the fabric buyer of a dept store - similiar to Gallerie LaFayette or Bon Marche in Paris. I had met this man while a student because I was always at the store buying fabric for my designs & spending lots of time there trying to envision the fabric as a garment before buying. He introduced himself to me one day & was very kind. My Mother encouraged me to go see him after I graduated. I wanted to get a job in the Fashion Office of the store. He arranged an interview for me but there was no opening, so he offered me a job as a saleperson in his fabric department which I accepted. I learned a lot about fabric from this man and became the top salesperson. A few months later, I was promoted to assistant manager and a few months after that I transferred to the Fashion Office as secretary. Everyone had to start off as secretary and the only way you could move up was if someone left and there was a another position. It was really boring...I hated it! But eventually I was able to work my way up to more interesting positions. The operative word is WORK....The same goes for fashion design school. For 2 years I was commuting to and from class which was Mon-Fri 8 hrs a day & working part time at night and weekends. I was top of my class but getting no sleep & LOVING every minute of it. It was my passion!!!
While at the Department Store I had many differents kinds of jobs, including Buyer & Men's Fashion Director. I traveled to Europe 2-3 times a yr, the Far East twice a yr, attended the couture shows in Paris, the Salon d'Homme, the Pret a Porter Feminin etc
If you want to know about all the kinds of jobs I had over the course of 21 years I can send you that information in a separate email to your Mom. The industry has many different facets to it and is very competitive.
No matter what course you follow - your heart must lead you! The road may have some twists and turns but your heart will never disappoint you. What I've discovered is that if you are doing something you love, that you are passionate about, it doesn't seem like hard work at all.
Bonne chance Jackie!

Judy nelson

Salud Jackie,
I, too had your quandary when I was your age, older, and even older! My family was medical, so I worked in hospitals part time when attending college. I decided that was not for me. Then, I thought my passion was law. I married in college and my husband and I were both going to attend law school, but only he did, and I got another degree. Turns out the law actually drove us apart ( I didn't agree on many of his legal stands he had to take for his firm). After divorcing, I went into writing, my passion; but the only work I could find wasninadvertising, so that became my career at the time. Then I married a doctor who drew me into medical marketing, but Also full-circle into medical administration and education. In my "next" life, I determined, out of need to fulfill my neglected creative impulses, as well as my frustration over never having the right handbag for my purposes when traveling, speaking at meetings, etc., to design a handbag! Who would have thought that my rambling trail through life would lead me here? I designed and patented a unique handbag that is reversible and convertible to accommodate all my needs, from a backpack to an evening bag--I call it "Chouette". I guess my point to telling you this is that you may not be destined for just one thing; and sometimes it takes sampling many enterprises to find one that you are both good at, and is your passion. Bon chance!

Judy nelson

Sorry, I was writing the above post over tea on my iPad; and occasionally it decides to change my words, and sometimes spellings. Just so you get the general idea! Bonne chance


How to help a young person plan for their future? Hmmm. One thing I know for sure is that you will reinvent yourself many times during your life. And you never know where or when an opportunity that will be particularly good fit for you will come from so . . . keep an open mind and heart, read (biographies would be helpful) as much as you can, listen to your parents. Talk to people who are already in the field of interest - elders who are nearing retirement. They have lived longer than you so they know more. Volunteering is an excellent way to "try on" a path. You will know when you have found "it". Please do not waste time worrying about it - investigate.

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

Bonjour Kristin and Jackie,
Pour la maman -- J'aime trés beaucoup la photo! You had to have a lot of trust to get that angle.

Pour Jackie -- look to your mother and father as examples. While it is true that you should study hard, it is not so that you can get a good job. When I was a college professor I taught many students who had excellent grades. However, they had no passion for any subject. They focused only on getting a good grade to get a job and did not have a lot of creativity or motivation to do anything more than what the teacher asked. You study hard to learn how to think and learn on your own so you can follow your dreams wherever they go and to have a broad perspective on the world.

Your parents are following their passions. So why not you? It is not always an easy and straight path. And your life may take you down many paths. My husband started out as a jazz musician and is now a mathematics professor. I thought I would be a university professor all of my life but circumstances sent me on detours and I am teaching myself to do something new (to write like your mother). I do not know many people who are still doing what they started when young. Just be open to possibilities that will make you happy.

Your mother says you love horses. My best friend bought her first horse at the age of 15. It was her exercise and her escape and fun as she worked at jobs she didn't like and as she raised kids and as she followed her husband around the country for his career. It wasn't until five years ago that she realized that she should be a horse trainer. Et voilà, her passion and her job are one and the same finally.

I wish I could write all of this in French, but learning French is also something I'm doing new that I never thought I would do.

Bonne chance, Jackie, et courage!

Fred Lovett

Hi Jackie,

I'm 83 and I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left school, except that I liked engineering. My Dad had other ideas and I spent two years in the bank, six months in the RAF before they threw me out, sick, back to the bank for two years and then in desperation I took a job as a trainee farm labourer. I gradually raised my status until I was the tractor driver and eventually took a course which enabled me to be a car mechanic which I enjoyed and eventually I went to South Africa as a service rep for a London firm. I finally found my true mètier in computers where I was so happy I would have worked for nothing but they actauly paid me to write programs which I enjoyed immensely.

I was in that job for a long time, twenty years' finishing up in my own business where I found I couldn't do what I wanted as I had to run the business!

Eventually I went to the USA and found it was very different to what I expected. after twenty years, I took the opportunity to move to Sicily, where I met you mother in a group of ex-pats. Isn't she a wonderful person?

Now I live in Sicily, on the slopes of Mount Etna See my web page at For me, I am at last in Paradise.

But at the tender age of thirteen I hadn't a clue as to what I should do except by 16 I wanted to be an engineer, but was not allowed to!

So my advice is to get as wide an education as possible, don't worry about the scores and watch out for the oportunities which will present themseves. Take those which appeal to YOU! ALL the advice I received turned out to be wrong, and I wish I had done what I wanted from the start. Not that it didn't turn out well in the end -everythng happens for the best, but it may not seem so at the time.

My very best wishes for your future.


Fred Caswell

Dear Jackie,

I can relate to your concern regarding your future work.I was 30 years old before finding a job for which I had passion -- so much intensity spent as a public elementary school teacher that I exhausted my passion and left/quit/resigned at age 53 to find new passions. The next 7 years were the most growthful years of my life.

The wise advice givers above have shared most valuable lessons for you to ponder.

A solid formal education opens a lot of doors for seekers of work. I believe nothing is as powerful as FOLLOWING YOU BLISS/PASSION-S. You will mature and learn more doing so until the flames have flickered out and a new passion gripes your full efforts and dedication. Just look at the marvelous examples your mother and father! You can't find better examples!

You are young and deserve to not be overly concerned about the future which will unfold in ways you can not imagine . But you will always have passions to exploit.

Enjoy your youth! Peace

Fred Caswell

Jackie, please excuse the errors in my comments above. Perhaps nearing 84 years of age can be an excuse, even if it is a weak excuse!


There are so many things going on in your life as a teenager. Of course visiting with friends and having fun are far more appealing than studying. However, it is very important that you focus on your studies more than having fun. The idea of spending time volunteering in a career you are interested in is a great idea. Many community colleges here have internship programs in various fields that start after a year of schooling. It would be a lot easier if you could check careers out before you graduate from high school. Then you would know before college, what you need to study and if you want to pursue a certain field.

Kate S

Dear Jackie,
I agree with TK. FROM MD. Internship is always a good start. My daughter worked for many shops. She loved fashion also. Her last job was for Lilly Pulitzer. It was a really nice job with great perks. Do you have a local dress shop where you could volunteer? Bonne Chance!


Do you want to design or do you want to work in managing a design company. They take different talents. Do you design your clothes on paper. That is a start. Read the lives of fashion designers. Do you sew?
Grades are important but there are other talents beside academic.
I wanted to be a designer either fashion on home. After attending one year in Art School, I realized I was not talented enough compared to my fellow students to earn a living. So, I turned to another of my talents, my ability to work with people, and became a psychologist.
Hope you find your muse! Best wises,



I teach 18 year old college students here in America and they certainly do not know what they want to do with their lives! So you still have some time to explore your interests. What Color Is Your Parachute? is a great book; I'd second that recommendation. The biggest mistake my students make is choosing a profession for which they have no passion. Perhaps you could try "interviewing" some adults who love their jos. Ask them how they discovered their passion and pursued it!


J'étais exactement comme vous jusqu'a mes vingt ans. Je ne savais pas quoi faire comme métier. En fin, j'ai décidé de baser ma décision sur ce qui était demander (rechercher?), et ce qui était plus sage pour les raisons économiques. (A l'époque c'était électroniques.) Je ne regrette rien, parce que, a mon avis, tous les métiers sont intéressants, et en plus--a mon avis, ce qui est important dans la vie ne vient pas de notre métier. Pour moi, un bon métier nous donne les moyens pour vivre et nous permet de se concentrer sur ce qui est vraiment important.

Natasha Evans-Beauchamp

Salut Jackie,
Je crois que si tu aurais demander a ta maman ce qu'elle conter faire de sa vie quand elle avais 13 ans, elle n'aurait pas dit qu'elle serais blogueuse, qu'elle aurait ecrit un livre, ou qu'elle saurait comment s'occuper d'un vignoble! Je ne ni pas les consignes de tes profs. Si, il faut avoir une base par laquelle prendre de bonnes decisions pour son avenir. Avoir une notion que la mode t'interesse, c'est super. Il y a beaucoup de carrieres genre design mode- et ca c'est sans parler des possibilitees d'etre comptable dans une maison de mode, fiere la pub pour la mode, etc. Entre temps, aux E-U, il y a des enfants de ton age qui sont sacrement precosses qui se lancent deja dans la mode. Voici un article du New York Times au sujet: . Entre temps, il faut ameliorer les notes! Tu n'es plus une toute petite fille. Ce que tu fais maintenant auras des consequences pour ton avenir- ne prends pas de risques inutile. Reflechit et soit fiere de toi meme.
Bon courage!


Such a hard question, that I'm sure many of us will never fully answer! I'm only 30 and at times I wish I'd pursued a true "career". Instead I have a Master's in Poetry, work in Marketing right now and my jobs have run the gamut from plain admin to teaching to healthcare to gardening, etc etc. If you are passionate about fashion, then the blog idea is definitely a good one. I had great grades, and love school (perhaps a bit too much), but finding something that keeps my interest has been hard. Volunteering in anything and everything I take a fancy to helps quite a bit. Being open to that and finding your way along the twisty-turny path... And realizing that your career is only one aspect of yourself, you get to choose the rest!

Barbara Bell

Jackie, there are many jobs that will allow you to work in the Fashion industry. Here are some ideas: clothing model, hairstyle model, fashion designer, fashion illustrator (drawing or painting), fashion photographer, writer or reviewer for fashion magazines, window display design, merchandise display design, retail store owner or manager, retail buyer for a store, fabric designer, seamstress, pattern cutter, make-up artist, hair stylist...I've probably overlooked some jobs. You can see that your grades would need to be very good for some jobs (especially in math or art) but not so necessary for others (pattern cutters need to have good eye-hand coordination!)

I hope you will not worry too much about the future, and enjoy being a teenager! Bonne chance, Jackie!

Jacqueline Gill

Hi Jackie,
I told my daughter to study what she loved and the rest would come:"ever forward, but slowly." Now she is graduated and managing a store; not exactly working in her field but pursuing a master's degree and enjoying her life. Her grades were not great but she tried hard. I taught English in high school for 35 years and loved it. But I wanted to be a fashion merchandiser. Ha! Now I love retirement. Here is what else I believe: If you believe in prayer, start asking NOW for guidance and direction. It works every time. What a lovely young lady you are. Explore many options and keep asking yourself what do you truly enjoy and find interesting and worthy of pursuit. Blessings to you and your delightful family.


Bon Jour Jackie! :-D

Sorry this is in English, my French is still in it's infancy!

What wonderful advice everyone has given you!

Here's my 2 cents...I think you should:
study well, do your best and try not to worry!

Explore all your interests and take into account all the gifts you've personally been given. Look for possibilities such as volunteering or observing others who may have a career that interests you.

I also think you should spend more time visiting your Aunt Heidi & your grandmother Jules for additional ideas! ;-)


Carolyn Chase

Peut-être on pourrait « gouter » ou essayer un futur métier en offrant de travailler gratuitement pendant quelque temps. Comme ça le patron va aussi voir la qualité de votre travaille, et vous aller savoir plus sur les réalités quotidiennes du ce Métier.

Carolyn Curtis

Je sais bien que la systeme scholaire est tres different en France qu'aux Etas Unis. Ma niece a eu la meme probleme pendant toute sa adolesence.
Pour avoir les plus bonnes notes que possible il vous faut choisir les sujets que vous aimez les mieux. Soyez ouvert sur la question de metier, mais soyez curieuse. Je vous jure que les adultes aiment parler de leur metiers aux jeunes gens - peutetre en deux ans vous pouvez commencer a faire des intervues pour cuellir information sur la realite des metiers.

Jim in Providence

Jackie, check out these course offerings from the Rhode Island School of Design. RISD has produced many famous designers. I think they have summer programs for high schoolers, but I am not sure about the apparel department.


Cher Jackie, even Einstein had bad grades. What matters most is passion and perseverance. Just do your best, pray and don't let it worry you at all. If you choose a profession now, it can easily change when you grow up. Who may choose to be a professional mommy and wife! Those are excellent professions, though the pay is sometimes a little slow in coming! :D


Chere Jackie,
Yes, it is better to have good grades, so I encourage you to study more. However, sometimes people who are creative and talented in areas that are not so academic, don't get the best grades in school, but are very successful in their careers. So don't be discouraged.

To say you might like to work in fashion can include so many aspects I don't know where to direct you. So please think about some options.

In fashion you can work at a store, where you can be in sales, in buying, in window display, or management. For buying, you need to be good at numbers, for sales, you need to like people, for display you need artistic creativity.

Fashion can mean working for a clothing or accessory company. There are positions in designing the clothes/products, selling them to the stores, managing the production, or doing the public relations. These are all very different jobs and require different skills.

Fashion can mean working for a magazine as an editor. This requires a very detailed mind who is very creative in fashion. It also can mean being a good writer.

Fashion can be about working in public relations or advertising which can be a postion at a PR company, an advertising agency or in-house for the company. Depending on your strengths which can be in writing, graphic design or account management will determine which area is best for you.

I would encourage you to get a part time job at either a local clothing store or perhaps an internship at an advertising agency so you can get a feel for the variety if of career opportunity's which center around fashion.

If you would like some more feedback, feel free to email me.

Marianne Rankin

Chere Jackie,

Vos commentaires m'interessent toujours. Et je me rappelle l'epoque ou j'avais 13 ans. A mon avis, c'est assez jeune pour avoir deja decide quel metier on va suivre. Les annees de cette periode de vie sont pour penser, decouvrir, se renseigner, et essayer des possibilites differentes. On peut parler avec des gens dans le domaine dans lequel on veut entrer. P. ex., si vous voulez travailler dans La Mode, essayez de trouver des gens qui y travaillent, et parlez-leur au sujet de la vie quotidienne dans un tel boulot.

J'ai toujours recu de bonnes notes, et ca aide un peu. Ca montre qu'on n'est pas stupide, et qu'on travaille acharnement. Voudriez-vous un medecin qui a recu de mauvaises notes? Moi non. C'est pour cette raison que les ecoles de medecine exigent de tres bonnes notes, car ne pas savoir ce qu'il faut peut avoir des consequences desastreuses. Dans La Mode, c'est moins dangereux, mais quand meme, il y a de la matiere a apprendre.

Dans l'economie actuelle, qui est pire aux Etats-Unis que presque jamais sauf la Grande Crise Economique des annees 1930, c'est tres difficile de trouver du travail. Moi, je cherche deja 2 ans, et je me debrouille en chomage avec l'argent que j'ai epargne, qui disparait rapidement. Pas question d'aimer beaucoup son travail, quoique cela soit ideale. L'important, c'est d'avoir un poste qui paye les depenses essentielles.

Outre La Mode proprement dite, vous pouvez acquerir des talents utiles presque n'importe ou, comme taper a la machine (clavier d'un ordinateur), classer les documents (on devra classer les factures et les patrons dans un magasin de mode), apprendre a facilement faire des calculs (pour les ventes), etc. etc. Il y a peu de capabilites qui ne soient transferables d'un domaine a un autre.

Vous pouvez apprendre les details des coutouriers comme Chanel, Cardin, etc. etc. (j'en sais peu), et ce qui distingue leurs styles. Vous pouvez demander aux amies ce qui leur plait, et pourquoi, et developper des idees des sortes de vetements qui leur vont le mieux.

Enfin, si vous ne pouvez pas trouver un boulot dans La Mode immediatement - ce qui arrive a beaucoup de gens en commencant a travailler - pensez a autre chose que vous pouvez faire entretemps, qui ne sera pas trop desagreable. En faisant "n'importe quoi" au commencement, vous pouvez continuer a chercher un poste dans La Mode, et le travail du debut deviendra une qualification pour une situation plus responsable et interessante plus tard.

Bonne Chance!


jackie, i have followed my passion for fiberarts, specializing in one of a kind wearables, including hats. i did hat shows in bars while living in paris with moderate success. that does not work so well here in new mexico. though i love my work, i have rarely made much money, and poverty is stressful and exhausting. but then, i'm free of the 9 to 5 world and love my freedom. i think an internship would be a smart thing to look for, giving you a look at the inside of the business. and you can always change your mind and do somethin else, at any age. good luck!


Jackie-Follow your "passion" whatver that might be and it will ead you to your future. Good grades are only part of the picture-I am a school teacher so I know a little about this. You do not have to figure out your entire life before your 14th birthday! I wish you happiness and fulfillment as you meet the challenges of the future.

Doug in MA

Pour choisir, demandez-vous ce que vous aimez parce que le travail est quelque chose que vous devez faire chaque jour. Quand j'étais jeune, j'avais l'habitude de prendre les choses en dehors pour voir comment ils travaillent, et donc quand j'ai grandi je suis devenu ingénieur et cela me convient. Peut-être que les prochaines années passent, votre amour de la mode se forme en quelque chose que vous pouvez poursuivre.

Lynda Laun

I am happy to read of Jackie's thoughts about her metier. What is the difference between "metier" and "profession"? There is a difference, as exempified in a watch ad in Paris-Match with John Travolta.Son metier etait acteur et son profession etait pilote ou vice versa; j'ai oublie.

karen mckeon wilson

Hello Jackie,

If you like fashion, then try it, you might be amazing at it, or it will lead you somewhere else. One of my daughters who is now 30 and a full time yoga teacher, began in fashion, then decided she didn't want to be part of that world if she couldn't be a fashion designer, she did French and computer studies, and lived in Paris, met lots of people, then worked at event management, in hotels and bars. She had always done yoga all through this, and in the end decided that was what she loved most, but it took her time to find this out. Now she brings all her experiences to her life as a yoga teacher. Her website is if you want to look at what she does. My other daughter has studied all sorts of things, but they all lead her to want to study medicine, which she is doing at the moment. It is great these days as young people really search for what they love, and don't just stick at the first thing that they choose, like most of their parents did! So don't worry too much about making this big decision as it will not be forever, or it may be, but you will always find one decision leads to another or opens doors to things you never thought of. And even much older than you, people change careers, nothing is forever. I wish you all the best of luck in your life. Best wishes Karen

Debbie W.

Hi Jackie,
I don't know if it's the same in France, but in the U.S., WHO you know is everything. Get to know people in your chosen field who can recommend you when a job comes up. They'll get 500 applications for every job opening, but the job will go to someone they already know or is recommended by someone they know.

Bill Facker

Aloha Jackie .. May I humbly suggest you never "work" in your lifetime. Listen to that voice inside .. the one expressing what it is you love and what will bring you happiness every day of your life. Follow that voice and you will be creative, happy, and fulfilled. You will never want for anything, because sustenance (i.e. money) is provided as a direct result of your happiness. Always remember to share your gift with others .. this will also enrich your life beyond anything you can imagine. Don't "work" at life Jackie .. Play, create, and follow that voice which will lead you to those special gifts that only you possess. Whatever you love .. be that. Dream Big then follow the dream. And remember .. no other person can be Jackie like Jackie can be Jackie when Jackie discovers who Jackie is and follows the "Jackie Voice" within. To your success & happiness! Aloha, Bill Facker


Hi Jackie,
Unfortunately, my french is not up to responding! So I'll have to reply in English. Having been born and raised in Canada we didn't have to decide what we wanted to do "when we grew up" until the end of high school. I was pretty focused and knew I wanted to be an artist - so I planned all my schooling around getting into a BFA(art classes, extracirricular art clubs, etc). Then in my third year of university I realized most artists have to have some other career to pay for their art, many I knew became waiters/waitresses by day. I preferred reliable food/shelter so I went into a Master of art conservation. I now work in a museum, am well paid, have reliable job security and I LOVE my work. I agree with the people who tell you to pick an area you are passionate about but I would also caution you to be open about the different directions those interests can take you. Look at the underlying reason you are attracted to a field - do you like fashion because you like fabrics? Shapes/ textures/ colours? Or is it dealing with people? Do you like the photography aspect of it? Or the drama of presenting fashion shows? Do you like to design/sew clothes? Each of these things fundamentally relates to other jobs. Some of which you may not need as high academic grades to succeed in. Though there are almost always more opportunities when you do have better grades - it's also easier to get high grades when you are working on something you love. If your school offers art or drama options maybe you could take some of those? You may find something more specific than "fashion" that excites you.
You will find that once you start looking into any field of work there are so many jobs you will never have heard about before. I agree with TK in MD that doing internships is a great way to decide if you want to do something - but make sure that you are experiencing the 'grunt work' of a profession, not just highlights as often happens with a short job shadow. I believe that if you find work were (for you) even what others feel is drudgery is enjoyable or at least feels worth doing, you've found something that will fit you well.
Good luck!

Susan Larsen

Hi Jackie,
My daughter is a junior at Lasell College, in Newton, MA where a student can get a bachelor's degree in fashion design. If you work hard now, get good grades and establish an excellent work ethic, you can attend any college you want and study your passion, perhaps with a with a few scholarships as well. Just a thought....

Maria Cochrane

Kristin - merci d'avoir partager les pensées de Jackie. Comme je te l'ai dit, je suis prof de français aux jeunes qui ont 14 - 17 ans...Alors, dans quelques semaines je vais leur offrir les paroles qu'a écrit ta fille pour qu'ils les traduisent et pour faire rouler une conversation. Merci! Je vais vous dire leurs conseils.

Linda B. Cane

Chere Jackie,

A 13 ans je voulais etre journaliste. A 16 ans, je voulais faire "la publicite" comme mon pere. A l'universite a 18 ans, j'ai adore mes classes de francais et d'anglais, et j'ai decide d'etre professeur. C'etait parfait! Je ne pense pas que ce soit possible de savoir l'avenir a 13 ans. Etudiez, apprenez,voyagez et je suis certaine que vous trouverez votre sentier!


Doing what you love is the single most important thing in life. When you 'feel' good you are in the flow of life. Not to say that we won't experience bumps in the road, that may not be joyful. We all come here with our own gifts to share with the world. I too was torn at a young age for what "to do", but always wanted "to be" an artist. I struggled to "make a living", so early on made my passion a hobby and worked at the post office for 10 years to make "money" - big mistake. It was totally unproductive and a very unhappy experience. Now at 50 something I'm still reinventing myself, visualizing life through creative eyes and trying to stay out of the mainstream mindset. Be free, be creative, you are young - if you desire, try many things to feel out your talent - trust your intuition. Do work hard at whatever you are focused on - school included. Try to see the big picture in your studies and how they give you a road map to work with. Most important - Be Happy!

Jules Greer








Listen to your inner-voice, get to know and recognize this voice. If I had listened I would have avoided a lot of heartache and pain.

Let your life unfold.










C'est horrible qu'à 13 ans, tu dois déjà penser à ce que tu vas faire dans l'avenir.
J'étais dans la même position, mais beaucoup plus tard, vers 17 ans. J'ai fini ma terminale en philo, mais c'est pas exactement la direction que j'ai voulu prendre. J'aime bien le dessin et voulais entrer dans l'école de Beaux Arts après le Bac. Mais mes parents me l'ont découragée, car d'après eux, c'est difficile de gagner sa vie comme artiste. Heureusement, à l'université de Californie, j'avais encore deux ans pour explorer. J'ai découvert que je voulais travailler dans le departement des affaires étrangères. Mais à la sortie de l'université, je me suis mariée avec un ingénieur qui voulait que je reste à la maison pour prendre soin de nos enfants. En bref, je n'ai pas de carrière professionnelle. Mais pas de regrets, car mes enfants sont maintenant des professionnels (médecin, ingénieur, banquier, professeur d'université). Tu peux donc dire que ma profession était donc de les guider. ça revient à la question de "notes", essaie de travailler de ton mieux et tout s'arrange.
Bon courage, la belle Jackie.

karen mckeon wilson

Hello again Jackie,

I told my husband about your question and he disagrees wholeheartedly with my response to you. He feels if you are not sure about what to do, go for a job that earns a lot of money and therefore security and independence and then after you have done that, you can try all sorts of different things. He feels the most important thing is to be financially secure. I sometime agree with him when I wish I was a self supporting woman with more control over my life. I am sure you will get lots of advice, so choose wisely.

Andrew in Canada

Bonjour Jackie
(s'il vous plait, pardonnez-moi mon francais) N'inquietez-vous. Certainment vous doivons travailler, mais aussi, et plus importante, vous doivez trouver un metier que vous aimerez. J'ai 50 ans mais je ne sais pas quoi que je voudrais faire dans l’avenir. J'ai plus de succes, et d'argent, mais je n'aime pas mon métier. Suivez ton coeur!

J. Redman

Chere Jackie, What a nice post you wrote. I am a school librarian. I love my job most of the time. I do many diverse things - I would be too bored doing the same thing day in day out. I did not find this career until I was 23! I never had a good librarian in my schools so I never realized it was even a real "career". I went to Catholic Schools and we just had a lady that checked the books out and reshelved them. She never taught us library and research skills. We never heard about the different literary genres! I am lucky I finally met someone who was in Library School at Kent State here in Ohio. As soon as I visited the Department, I knew I had found the "right" fit. It has been 15 years now and I feel fortunate to be content in my work and not dread it like so many people I know. Bonne Chance.

gail bingenheimer

Guard your heart. My greatest joys and sorrows came from my husband and the birth of my first child. I really enjoyed college, it really opened up a whole new world for me. I have a liberal arts & science degree with a major in French. I love my major. whats nice about liberal arts & sciences is that you know a little about everything but not really a whole lot about anything. I did my masters in education and taught kindergarten in South Korea. I guess I like kids (kindergarten) and French .


Chère Jackie. Merci de ton honnêteté. J'ai trouvé tes questions très intéressantes car j'ai une nièce, Francesca, qui, malgré ses très bonnes notes d'une excellente école américaine, a choisi de ne pas assister à l'université après avoir terminé l'école. Elle a décidé de créer sa propre ligne de mode (c'est correcte en français?) et avec un peu de tolérance et de l'aide financièr de sa mère, elle l'a fait. Bien qu'elle n'ait pas tout a fait réussi son défi, un an plus tard, elle a été admise à l'école new yorkaise, Parsons School of Design, grâce au fait qu'elle avait l'expérience de travailler dans la mode.

C'est pour te montrer si tu as de la passion, de la créativité, la capacité de travailler dur et poursuivre ton but jusqu'au bout, tu peut bien réussir.

Fais de ton mieux dans la classe de maths, c'est très utile pour les affaires. Ce n'était pas mon bon sujet, je préfère les lettres et je suis maintenant prof de français mais c'est une suggestion.

Bon courage, bonnes aventures !

Margot de Maine

Karen from Phoenix, AZ

So many wonderful advice for you Jackie. I agree with some not others but that is what choice is about. Listen to your heart and soul and explore from there. xoxo


Jackie -

At 13, there are a lot of professions with which you are not yet acquainted. Additionally, many new careers have opened up since I was your age and more new ones are opening up all the time. For example, hen I was your age, there was no one designing clothes for the disabled. Since there are young people in wheelchairs, there is now a recognized and growing need for stylish clothing that is contoured on the back where they are sitting but that won't get caught in the spoke of the wheels of the wheelchairs.

You might look for other areas for which there is a need for specialized clothing. Designing such clothes with a flair would create your own market.

My own grades were not very good when I was your age. My grades began to improve in the last two years I was in high school. They improved in college and were quite good in graduate school. I believe this is because I was able to focus on subjects that I liked. I also worked at some jobs that I didn't like and that inspired me to study harder.

As an instructor of adults at a two-year college, I saw this same pattern in many of my students. Until you are of legal age to obtain a job, I suggest that you volunteer during vacations so that you widen your experience. This will help tell you what you like and don't like. As an example, I knew a young man that volunteered to work in the public library on his regular days off from school and during vacations. When he was legally eligible to work, he applied for the first paying job that was close to what he was already doing. They hired him because he already had the experience. He didn't require much training.

As an educator, I can tell you that (in the United States at least) very few people actually enter the career that they chose as young people. My husband is one that did, and he is unusual.

I hope this helps.


Je pense qu'il est plus facile pour ceux qui ont une idee fixe. Ils suivent un chemin tout droite and peuvent etre maitre plus tot. (On dit qu'il faut 10,000 heures d'etre maitre d'un sujet). Mais la vie ne passe pas comme ca pour tous.

La vie vous mene par ici ou la, et vous pouvez changer ou corriger votre chemin. Ne vous inquietez pas trop!

Ayant dit ca, si vous aime mode, immersez vous. Cousez, cousez cousez. Ecrivez un blog sur la mode, etc.

Bonne Chance!


Cher jackie, I think it is reprehensible that your educators are putting so much pressure on you at this age. They should be continuing the job of education, not herding young people into boxes as early as possible. If they are of the persuasion to herd, they should also be inspiring you to ( as you know instinctively) go for an area that you feel you not only are passionate about, but an area that you can find fulfillment by making the world a better place. The final lesson they should be teaching, ( if herding is under the heading thereof) is to reveal to each young mind that education should be a lifelong endeavor, and subsequently, that you can always change your profession. To inspire, to breathe life into young minds; these should be the traits of great teachers. Don't allow pressure to close your heart to possibilities, chere jackie. Stay inspired. Don't worry about making the"right choice" now, because life is forever changing, and you, too , young lady, have the right to change, to reinvent yourself, and to evolve. As long as you have the courage to reach out to others for advice, you"ll do well. Keep reaching out, and never stop dreaming. I love your spirit, Jackie. Bon chance!


Hello Jackie,
I see you have gotten many very good suggestions. I agree that you should think of the things that interest you, try volunteering, don't worry about the grade as much as the effort, etc.. If you find you have a talent, remember that it has to be nourished with practice and the courage to try things in more than one way. I know that thriteen is too young to truly decide where you are going in life, but it would not hurt to start the journey and see how many twists and turns there are in the road. I hope you are excited about the twists and turns, because that is what makes life interesting.

Jan Leishman

Chere Jackie,
C'est difficile d'etre jeune !
Pourquoi pas chercher un petit bulot dans un magasin de la mode ?
Apres le lycee, peut etre un stage avec un grand magasin ?
Pardon, je ne peux pas expliquer en francais . . . you could become a buyer of fashion or organise fashion shows etc.
You are also very good at writing.
Je suis journalist et il y a beaucoup de choses a faire - you could write about fashion for magasines.
Why not start a french fashion blog?
There must be many young people in the world who are learning to speak French and would like to read about young French fashions.
Try not to worry too much about your marks. They are important, but your enthusiasm and willingness to work at what you love is also important.
Bonne chance !

ann from san francisco

Hello Jackie,

One career you might consider is being a marketing learn how to study and interpret consumer behavior and predict the kinds of products people will want to buy in the future. I had the pleasure of being a marketing researcher for a fashion company for many years and it was the most fun job of my life! I got to predict fashion trends, help my company determine the kinds of clothes people would want to wear, and help test the new fashion designs with real people to make sure they fit perfectly. I also helped test different interior designs for my company's clothing stores to see which ones customers preferred to shop.

It was really interesting work, and I got to be close to the excitement of fashion but still have a steady paycheck. Most of the big fashion brands hire researchers, and here in the US the career is very much in demand. If, at some point, you decide fashion is not for you, you can transfer your skills to just about any other industry (I now work as a researcher for an internet brand). You'll want to study marketing, psychology, statistics, anthropology, and sociology...or perhaps you can find a program that teaches marketing research directly and so will combine a little of each of these subjects. Good grades are not as important as creative thinking and problem solving. Best of luck!

Larry D

Bonjour Jackie,

Ne t'inquietes pas ce que tu vas faire quand tu seras grand.

Votre carriere vous trouverez.

Just study and be curious. Even though your passion may be LA MODE en ce moment, you might decide to take another route, either now or in the future. Veterinarian, perhaps, or teacher or astronaut or retail sales clerk or chef or avocat.

I have had many very successful 'careers' in my life: chemical/nuclear engineer, newspaper publisher, Wall Street investor, business owner with 82 employees, professional negotiator... I was never afraid to take another path when it suited me and I became wealthy and secure in doing so.

Follow your heart and your interests, n'aies pas peur de changer course when opportunities arise. Educate yourself as widely as possible in hard skills (math, science, writing, language...). Develop an appreciation for soft skills (art, history, music, culture....). Try to be flexible. Build a solid base, perhaps with independent investments, so that you can change careers when it the time is right. The choices that you make when you are a teenager need not lock you into a specific career for life.

Regardez tes parents pour l'inspiration. Your Mom was all over the place before she settled in to her current passion. Who knows, she may make a change again. Your Dad tried many lines of work, gaining knowledge and experience at each stop. Look what he has achieved.

Don't worry about grades. Ambition, enthusiasm, determination, initiative and personality are far more important than grades.

In fact, don't worry about anything. Take things as they come.

Bon courage

Roger Anderson

Hi Jackie,

I am a retired college professor in the U.S. I frequently advised my students about their college majors and careers. I will tell you what I told them, find your interests but also find your academic strengths while you are in school. Interests are important but strengths and talents are equally important to success in higher education and in a career.

I realize the the French education system is different than here in the U.S. where students can take classes in college and take more time deciding what they want to pursue as a career goal. I can't give you advice relative to your system but I would say that you should perhaps begin your search for your interests and strengths earlier if that is required which I assume is what you are now doing. But also pay attention to what is practical in terms of a future in various job fields. Which fields and professions offer the best chance of employment.

A few years ago, my wife and I were visiting Paris and we took a day trip from Paris to the Loire valley. The tour guide for the day was a young French woman who was a recent graduate of a French university. She told us that the only job she could find with her degree was her current job as a tour guide due to the employment rules in France. She told us that there are very few openings for jobs since employers are not able to release employees when business is poor. They are hesitant to hire new employees if they may not need them in the future. If that is still true, then I would strongly advise you to choose very carefully which field you prepare to enter for employment and consider the job market. Interest alone will not be sufficient to gain employment if there are few jobs available in a given field of work.

Lastly, be independent! Prepare in university to support yourself and not just pursue a fun job. Even if you marry and there are two jobs or if you don't work for awhile while having children, you may need to go back to work to help support the family. Pursue your interests but always be practical.

Best of luck,

Roger Anderson
Detroit, U.S.A.

Pamela pamela

Hi Jackie... Pamela Dewey Singer here..I hae had a very long and varied
career in the clothing and textile business.. I started out by hemming coats and dresses for women in jr high then went on to do window dressing and bridal veils in high school..I also had my own small business going on the side..The first item I produced was a small crocheted hat..then I made belts, then I made skirts and eventually dresses..By the time I was 21, I had created a full blown business and a small faactory. I started dyeing fabric in old washng machines and was able to make the look "mine" by always being ahead of the market with colors and detail..Eventually we started out own printed fabrics.
If you love fashion ...start small ..sell to a small shop that will help you find a following..There is a site on the computer called Etsy that you can sell from also use as research ...see what others are creating..Draw and dream... and always keep in we define ourselves is a process not a'll be step at a time...
Surround yourself with people and subjects that will stimulate you.. Do you know about the TED TALKS on the internet??? google these ...
they are very inspiraational...
What a lovely daughter you have K......


Chere Jackie:
What a charming blog you have written.....& what a wonderful idea Angela has for you: a 13 y/o's fashion blog......why not?! Of course it will be alot of work (your mother can testify) but as so many others have said: follow your passions........& even though it is France....don't ever feel "stuck" that what you are doing one day HAS to be what you'll be doing a future day.
After come by this indecision naturally: did your mother think she'd be writing a blog from the south of France asking blog friends ideas for her own daughter when she was 13? Did your father think he'd own a vineyard & travel to the U.S. to sell his wine? I tend to doubt it.
Don't let les profs scare you.....always always do your best so you can be proud of who you are. Your esprit is may not believe it: you will be totally fine!


Hi, Jackie.
No one cares at all about your grades. That's the good news! Trying to do well in school is good practice for you, though. I was a terrible student, and I am not able to juggle different responsibilities well as a result. I let some things go completely and don't get back to them, which I did as a student.
As for a profession, do pick what you most like to do. Then study people who work in that field. Be strategic about your career. Always do your best work, out of pride, no matter how lowly the job, but don't let yourself be taken advantage of. This is the balancing act that we do. Good luck!



For you to write this posting indicates to me that you are conscientious and will do great at anything you put your mind to. Perhaps your grades are not as high as you would like because you are bored with the material.

Grades do not indicate your ability to do things in the world. But they are sure helpful to get into a good school!

I don't know what it is like in France but in the United States you can change careers relatively easily. Nonetheless, teachers still placed pressure on us when we were in school to choose a career. This mentality doesn't make sense in the world today because a career that is in demand right now might not exist five years from now.

To keep up with advancements in the world, my advice is to learn computers really well. Build one of your own. Start to program. Do something cool like create an application that changes clothes on models. In other words, find something you really like to do and incorporate it into a computer project.

Look forward to hearing more about what you do!



Chère Jackie,
Te voilà comblée et inondée de points de vue, conseils, suggestions et expériences d'un tas de gens! J'imagine que tu auras besoin de pas mal de temps pour filtrer tous les messages et en retirer l'essentiel. Je devine que ta maman t'aidera pour y voir clair dans ce déluge de réponses.
Prends ton temps, fais bon usage de ton ordi et ne te bute pas uniquement sur l'obstacle des "notes".
Mon premier message en a dit suffisamment alors, pour le moment, il ne me reste qu'à t'envoyer bisous et meilleurs souhaits.
Bon courage et bonne chance!

Sheryl in Denver


I remember being very confused at your age about choosing what profession I wanted. I had friends who knew exactly what they wanted, but I didn't, and I wondered why. I can offer this: Many people have several different careers in their life, so don't feel like you have to choose one thing and stay with it for the rest of your life. I also think it's important to pick something you really like, for those who work at things they love are always a bit happier. I feel it's a bit early for you to be choosing a career, but I realize France has a different school system and important testing at the end of high school. I just hope there isn't too much pressure at your tender age for such a big decision. Just follow your heart, cherie, it will not lead you astray.

What do I want to be when I grow up? OLD!

Bon Chance! Que sera sera.
(I loved your post about makeup, too. Please keep posting in your mom's blog!)


Hi Jackie! What is nice is that you've got an idea of what you love! this is a great start. But one thing that I've learned is that life is full of surprises so you must be open to all the possibilities it has to offer. While you're young, learn as much as you can, not just in school but from everyone and everything around you! That way, you'll be prepared to seize the chances that'll come your way.
Good luck!!


Chere Jackie:

I have two daughters, 16 and 18 y.o., who, like you, love fashion. When they were in their early teens they followed trends, kept notes about their fashion opinions,shopped only at les puces, altered clothes to their liking, tie-died garments, critiqued models, etc. One photographed herself at your age and sent it to Teen Vogue online and had it posted. (Very affirming of her interest and instincts -- try it out.)

In my opinion, just knowing your passion is a triumph of honesty and clarity. Brava!

Be prepared for the changes every passion undergoes. Find any way you can to approach your sometimes uninteresting studies with this passion as motivator. Consider the geometric aspects of la mode (silhouette, etc.), sketch your ideas (design, fine arts, theater),consider the origins of textiles (botany, agriculture), and the changing social functions of fashion (anthropology, sociology, history).

Continue to express yourself through fashion, remembering that there are ways to stand out from others with creativity and dignity, as well as ways to copy daring/degrading trends that don't preserve the already considerable respect of your admirers. Avoid the latter way.

Good for you for being brave enough to conduct a conversation with thousands of strangers online. Maybe you will one day blog about fashion trends?

Sue Steele


You have to find something you love. My sister loved the world of fashion, aussi. She is a professor of design at a university. She takes her students to Paris every summer to study with actual designers who teach her students various new techniques. It is a hands-on course for three weeks. Thus, my sister is her own boss, goes to Paris every year and designs! Parfait, n'est-ce pas?

Bonne chance.

HI Jackie,

Like some of the others who have responded, I too, once worked in the fashion industry. My first job at a little boutique in the mall was the most excited I ever felt about work. I loved helping people put together an outfit that made them look and feel great, I loved creating the displays for the the shop window and in the store. I went to a fashion school when I graduated high school; which gave me focus, but wasn't really that useful in the real world.

I have since worked with fashion photographers, as a make-up artist, designer and created fashion shows. There are so many different facets of the industry to explore. The one thing that I never did, but wish someone would have encouraged me to do, was get a job with the largest, most successful big company I could. In my case, that would have been Nordstrom. I never thought of myself as that "type", but after many years, see that those who have been most successful worked for this company at least for a time. They offered the best training, career and advancement opportunities of anyone. Many shop owners I know attribute their success to the experience they gained from Nordstrom.
Aside from that, I think a person should try to do what they find FUN. If it's fun to you, then you have found your passion in life.
All the best,
Kim in Lake Oswego

Suzanne Femmer


I started college with a passion for art! After a year, I discovered that it wasn't really for me. I then studied biology, chemistry and math. I don't know how the french schools work, but if I hadn't had a good background in math and science before college, my options would have been more limited when I found that art was no longer my passion (but it is my hobby!). I was an average student but as I am nearing 30 years working as an Aquatic Biologist, I think that everyone would agree, that though I was an average student, I am not an average Biologist! As someone previous stated, it's your dedication and hard work that will be your most valuable asset.


Natasha Evans-Beauchamp

Hello Again, Jackie & Kristin,
Your grandmother said something in English about God laughing at the plans we make. I have to translate that into the French version of the sentiment, for it was one of my grandfather's favorite expressions- he expressed it thusly: L'homme propose, Dieu dispose.


Jackie, It's such a difficult decision, no easy answer. There is a commercial on TV here in the US with older adults speaking as each works at their current metier. The theme is "when I grow up I want to..."
Kind of hard to figure things out at such a young age. You've gotten some wonderful advice here. I'm simply going to put my arms around you technologically and tell you that there is an answer. Because you are so bright, you WILL find it. Life is never static, it is always changing and you will grow and change with it as the situation demands.


If I can give you one piece of advice, DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF! Refuse to choose a career this early in your life. Instead, explore many possible or interesting careers.

For me, I feel that a career should be a vocation or a calling. If you plan to give years and year and year of your life, who or what will it benefit? Will you have an impact on others?

Choosing your path may take many years to decide, but I hope you enjoy the journey!

Alissa (a music teacher)


(oops - that should read "years and years and years")

Allan Wyatt

Dear Jackie: I'm going to reply en anglais even though I should try in French, because at this late stage in life ( age 60), I am learning French. But your questions are so good, they deserve a proper reply. My career has been as a psychologist, but I only arrived at my career after much exploration. These days here in the US, I meet so many kids who feel stressed about choosing a career and getting good grades. Happily for you, you have a passion, which many don't. Instead, people feel they have to make money, no matter whether they like what they are doing or not. A bad idea! Clearly supporting oneself is important, but not at the expense of one's interests and pleasure in life. Please, please follow your interests. I do not see how school grades per se should get in your way, although you will have to be diligent in pursuit of your goals. So much of school is a more general preparation for being industrious, but there are so many examples of people whose school career was mediocre and whose professional life became exceptional. I hope you hear from many in the fashion world and that they are able to encourage you and give you practical advice. The very best to you!

Carmen Clarke

Courage, Jackie!
Ma soeur Katy travaille dans la mode. Elle a 26 ans et elle est 'designer.' Katy habite a New York City. Elle travaille beaucoup, mais elle ne gagne pas beaucoup. Elle partage un tres petit apartement avec son chat, Pepper. De tout facon elle apprend de choisir les textiles et les couleurs, et ca lui fait plaisir de voir sa robes dans les magasins.
Courage - avec de l'enthusiasme, tu peut reussir!
Carmen Clarke


Dear Sweet Jackie,
who I have read about and seen in photos : )

When you love something, it's never "hard"

If you have decided you love fashion, go for it with all you've got and don't let the word "hard" ever come up! You may find it leads you to something you never expected... that you love even more. (like how life is in general)

I am an actress and my grades were good in school but my bent toward creative endeavors
and desire to be an actress is what motivated me. It was not that important to have straight A's in school to flourish as an artist... However, it feels good to have been educated and it feels better to know I did well, even if my grades are not a factor in my profession.

Perhaps begin your fashion goals now by learning about design and designers and reading the cool fashion blogs out there. Make things...find what you like about the fashion world. You have time!

You have a super talented mom and what seems to be a wonderful family...I cannot imagine that you won't find your dream profession.

I wish you the best in your life.

Liz (in LA)

Louise Kahler , Canada

hello Jackie - while it IS important to develop some self-discipline (studying to get better grades), I can tell you that after 20 years managing Medical clinics, I quit to become a piano teacher 6 years ago and have never been happier!
I always enjoyed music as a younger person, but never took my talents to seriously. If I had known, I would have studied music in University!
Bonne chance!

Ed Baquerizo

Cher Jackie : Vos professeurs ont tort. Aussi souvent, les jeunes sentent s'ont fait pression sur pour faire de premiers projets qui affecteront le reste de leurs vies, et atteindre des marques supérieures. Mon conseil à vous êtes - commence à explorer vos passions - quelles marques vous heureux dans la vie. Les notes de marque des choses que vous êtes intéressé véritablement en - et explore quelles intrigues vous. Garder un journal de vos pensées et vos idées, et vous apprendrez beaucoup de vous. S'il vous plaît ne pas se sentir que c'est urgent pour vous prendre une décision maintenant de comment vous gagnerez un habite en ce monde. C'est plus important pour vous apprécier votre jeunesse et votre travail vers un chemin pour trouver une façon pour se soutenir qui sera agréable et intersting à vous. Les degrés sont importants - mais c'est plus important pour vous apprendre. Si vous avez un problème dans un sujet, obtenez l'aide aussi tôt que possible. Votre mère est un grand modèle de rôle pour vous. Elle a géré pour créer un travail pour se qu'elle est clairement passionnée de, fait très, et gagne bien de l'argent pour votre famille. Lui parler. Votre Ami - de Californie, Ed B.

Dear Jackie:
Your teachers are wrong. Too often, young people feel pressured to make early plans that will affect the rest of their lives, and to achieve superior marks. My advice to you is - start exploring your passions - what makes you happy in life. Make notes about things that you are truly interested in - and explore what intrigues you. Keep a diary about your thoughts and ideas, and you will learn a lot about yourself. Please don't feel that it is urgent for you to make a decision now about how you will earn a living in this world. It's more important for you to enjoy your youth and work towards a path to find a way to support yourself that will be enjoyable and intersting to you. Grades are important - but it's more important for you to learn. If you have a problem in a subject, get help as early as possible. Your mother is a great role model for you. She managed to create a job for herself that she is clearly passionate about, does very well, and earns money for your family. Talk to her.
Your Friend - from California,
Ed B.


Salut Jackie,

The best advise I can offer you is follow your dream - if you love fashion, if you love Le Mode, don't let anything stand in your way! Determination, passion, and talent are all very important in breaking into this profession. I have been an amateur designer for most of my adult life, and have shown my creations at costume competitions throughout much of the US and am currently competing at the Masters level; I may not be a Vera Wang or a Stella McCartney, but my dresses are well received anyway.

Pratice, study, and believe - you're your mother's daughter, and I know you can do this. :)

Bisous from Minnesota,


Radhika Sangam

Jackie - vous etes interesse dans la photographie? cet un mieux facon de entrer dans la domain de la mode. Vous pouvez travailler comme dans le 'art department' d'un magazine. Peut-etre, vous pouvez faire un stage dans un magazine, n'importe quoi.

Travailler a Domicile

J'espere que vous en avez d autre de ce niveau sous le coude !

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