As your teen grows and reflects on their dream job, you should consider starting a discussion about the lesser-known qualities they need to consider as they choose a profession to pursue. Things like earning potential, job satisfaction and growth possibilities are useful to know when deciding a career.
When students are in school, they often do not have enough life experience to know which job will suit them and their needs best. As a parent, you’re in the best place to see the big picture and provide guidance to your teen and influence their college and career development decisions.
Here are a few ideas that you can consider as you advise your child about the best career for them.
Resist treating your child as an extension of you
Your child is his or her own individual. They are not you. The things that could drive you utterly nuts about a job might be the things they love to do.
Avoid the temptation to tell your child to avoid a certain path, simply because it’s something you don’t care about. Your child might have different and better skills for a specific job than you might.
Help your child discover their strengths and passions
If your child is interested in a career that does not seem to be compatible with their natural strengths, this does not mean that you need to advise against this choice.
Try to help your child analyze their desired career fully and see if their strengths and passion may actually be utilized by the job. Pay attention to what your child says and what he or she wants to do.
Give them a reality check
Do not underestimate your child’s ability to select a career on their own. Rather, encourage them and explain the importance. The intention is not to make the task seem too overwhelming, but to express the seriousness by helping to plan it out. For example, if your child decides to play drums, encourage him.
But, also tell him about the time, challenges and dedication required.
Encourage their efforts
As a parent, you need to support your child in every difficult decision.
Challenge your child to come out of their comfort zone and do something. When they follow their career path, they can change course. During these difficult decisions, be gentle with your child and push them to continue to learn more about themselves so that they can continue to grow into the amazing person they are supposed to be.
Show them How
Look for what your child wants to do. Notice their interests. Then help them learn how to pursue those interests. For example, if your child wants to create a garden, you can help your child do everything from crop research to soil turning. Adults often break down a goal into steps, and that is something children need to learn too.
Check-in with your child from time to time to help keep them focused on their goals.
Expose your child to a range of activities to see how interesting they are
When there’s a subject they’re curious about or they’re excited about, inspire them to learn more about it. Sometimes the choice to choose a particular line of work is taken slowly, as people continue to evaluate their interests in greater depth.
If they like to study science and are more into chemicals or how to treat a chemical burn, then do encourage him to go into engineering or medicine. Even though you may not have a background of chemicals, it is still possible for this child to pursue a career in that field.
Set a great Example
Your child is watching every move you make, so focus on being a good example of working at a job you love doing. When your child sees you developing a career that you really love, they’ll know that finding and doing work that they love is also achievable for them.