Naturally concerned about the good and the future of their children, parents would have hopes and dreams for them. But at the same time, it is also important to instill in their children a sense of ambition.

Since children are impressionable, they’re usually influenced by what they’re exposed to. So showing to them examples of aiming high and presenting to them the many possible careers they can go for can embolden them to aspire to be and to achieve anything.

A fun way for kids to explore the possibilities for them in the job market in the future is through a coloring book. A coloring book may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to promoting ambition. But yes, allowing kids to engage in coloring in a coloring book, particularly one that showcases the many different career paths, is a unique; creative; and delightful way to bring out the dreamer in them.

An exemplary careers coloring book is the I Can Be Anything I Want to Be Coloring Book by Elizabeth Shelby. It has two versions: Inspiring Careers for Girls dedicated to little girls aged 4 to 8 years old and Inspiring Careers for Boys dedicated to boys aged 4 to 8 years old. They feature both traditional and non-traditional careers. 

Traditional and Non-Traditional Careers

Little kids, whether girls or boys, can dream to be whatever they want to be regardless of their gender. Although their dream can change any moment, with such fickle minds they have—one moment they’d want to be a doctor, then a police officer the next—having dreams can serve as an inspiration to them. Besides, dreaming is free.

There are several careers available in the job market. And knowing those career options opens up children’s minds to many possibilities. They can either choose to go for a traditional career or dare to go for a non-traditional career.

Simply put, traditional and non-traditional careers are basically based on gender roles. This means that by opting for a typical job associated with your gender, you are going for a traditional career. And non-traditional careers are jobs that are traditionally done by the opposite sex.

According to the US Department of Labor, non-traditional careers are jobs wherein the employees of a particular gender are below 25% of the total number of employees.

Back in the day, women and men were stereotyped as to what kind of career is suitable for them. While the less strenuous and less mentally challenging jobs that usually involved caring; nurturing; and organizational skills were designated for women, the more physically and mentally challenging jobs were entitled to men.

Some examples of the occupations that women were once confined to are jobs like nurse, secretary, administrative assistant, sales lady, nursery/kindergarten/elementary/middle school teacher, and etc. While the careers that were perceived to be men’s jobs are EMT, paramedic, firefighter, engineer, web developer, and etc to name a few.

The gender barrier that once existed and hindered potential workers from opportunities no longer exists. In these modern times, the corporate world has become more open to both female and male workers alike. Many companies are now even considering balancing out the number of women and men in their workforce.

Some examples of non-traditional careers for women are physician, surgeon, computer programmer, firefighter, chef, and etc. Some examples of non-traditional careers for men are nurse, occupational therapist, social worker, teacher, and etc. 

A downside to non-traditional careers, though, is that due to tradition; culture; and how society has shaped our perception of female and male roles, there still is a closed mindset towards non-traditional careers among society. So those whose passions and interests are inclined to non-traditional jobs would be discouraged to pursue their passion, as they’re afraid to be shamed. In the case of women, they’d be doubted if they have the capacity for the job, while for men, they’d be mocked about their sexuality.

Despite the opposing opinions about non-traditional careers, the number of women and men pursuing and succeeding in non-traditional careers was actually observed to be increasing as shown in research. This goes to show that females are just as capable of the physically and mentally demanding occupations as the males and that males can also take on jobs that are female-oriented. 

That being said, what matters more is one’s personal decision on what profession they think they will be happy with; excel more; and succeed. One shouldn’t let the opinions of others hinder oneself from one’s happiness and success in a job that they’re passionate about, wherein their skills can be utilized and they can excel in.

Choosing to work a non-traditional job in pursuit of one’s passion, rather than confining oneself to a career that is stereotypical to one’s gender, gives a high job satisfaction from being able to be productive and to be of help in a way that is in line with one’s interests and passion.

A higher salary is another advantage to non-traditional jobs. This is mostly true for women, as the pay is higher in careers that are dominated by men. Some non-traditional careers for men are also high-paying like occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, nursing, physical therapy, and chiropractic.

Moreover, as more people pursue non-traditional careers, more will be encouraged to do the same, and the perception of society towards gender and careers will be reshaped. Ultimately, this positively leaves an impact on the job market and societal views.

Nevertheless, whatever career a child chooses, whether traditional or non-traditional, parents’ guidance and support are essential.

A Coloring Book That Inspires

Elizabeth Shelby’s I Can Be Anything I Want to Be Coloring Book hits two birds with one stone. It can keep little girls and boys entertained with coloring, while it also lets them find inspiration in the many different careers presented in it. 

Elizabeth Shelby has always been about the development of little kids. In fact, one of this accomplished coloring book author’s passions is to bring out the best in little kids, and it’s evident in her works. This time, her careers coloring book encourages kids to be ambitious for them to realize their full potential.

With both girls and boys in mind, Elizabeth Shelby made two versions of this coloring book: Inspiring Careers for Girls and Inspiring Careers for Boys. To serve as models for girls and boys, the coloring book for girls features female subjects in the pictures, while the coloring book for boys features male subjects in pictures. Both versions are for ages 4 to 8.

In the coloring book are representations of various careers showing professionals in their uniform, using or holding their tools, in their work environment, and etc. There are over 50 careers depicted in each version. And the careers included in the coloring book are a mix of traditional and non-traditional careers. 

Little girls and boys may even imagine themselves wearing the uniforms and doing the jobs shown in the pictures, which can make coloring even more interesting. The assortment of various professions can empower them to freely consider any job that they can possibly take in the future, whether traditional or non-traditional. This coloring book promotes the idea that a person’s capabilities are not to be measured merely by one’s gender.

The pictures in this coloring book have a large; 8.5″ x 11″ format, so kids can enjoy a big space for coloring as they dream big. And as free as they can aspire to be whatever they wish, they’re free to fill the pages with their creativity without the colors bleeding through since its pages have single-sided printing.

Little future nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers, social workers, and etc would surely love to be gifted such fun, motivational coloring book. Whether for a birthday; Christmas; or just because, this would be a nice gift to give a little kid.

The Benefits of Coloring

Coloring is immensely beneficial in the early stages of the development of children. This enjoyable activity that children love to do is more than just a pastime. The happy times little kids spend pouring out their creativity and bringing pictures to life in coloring books can result in their improvement in a broad range of physical, mental, and psychological aspects.

Coloring stimulates creativity. Kids’ imaginations play in their minds as they think of what colors to use for the images. Even if their tiny; weak hands may exceed the lines when coloring, at least their creativity is practiced and further enhanced.

And as they choose the colors for a picture, color recognition is being developed in them. When coloring a picture, their grip and the movement of their hands help strengthen finger; hand; and wrist muscles, thus enhancing motor skills. This can also enhance their writing ability and prepare them for school activities.

In addition to toning the hands, coloring also improves the hands’ coordination with the eyes. The actions involved in coloring, such as choosing a color from the set of crayons; holding a crayon; applying colors to the spaces in the illustration; and etc utilizes both the hands and eyes at the same time. So coloring trains children’s hand and eye coordination.

Coloring takes time and attention. As children fill in every detail of a picture with color, it imparts in them the value of patience and develops their focus. 

Focusing on coloring can actually help with stress relief. Coloring has a therapeutic effect, wherein children can just color away their unpleasant emotions and negative thoughts, so they end up feeling calm and relaxed.

When they finally finish coloring a picture, it gives them a rewarding feeling of fulfillment from having an accomplishment, which they can be proud of, which also makes them proud of themselves. As a result, their confidence and self-esteem are increased. It’s their completion of tasks like this that boosts their morale and pushes them to give their best in whatever they do.

Children are free to dream to be anything they want. Elizabeth Shelby’s I Can Be Anything I Want to Be Coloring Book lets them do it in a fun, creative way. It allows them to envision themselves in the best possible versions of themselves in whatever career they may pursue in the future, and it brings in a lot of other benefits too.