Guiding your kids onto the right career path
Growing up, Jane wanted to be so many things. On her first career day in primary school, she dressed up like a doctor. During the next career day, she was an accountant. Later on, she said she wanted to be an engineer. It seemed like she could never make up her mind about what she truly wanted to do.
She changed her mind so many times about what she wanted to be due to her influences and the people she had been inspired by. After reading Dr. Ben Carson’s book “Gifted Hands” she chose to be a doctor like him. Then she watched an interview with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and was determined to be the next best economist just like she was. But through it all, her parents gave her the freedom to choose. This freedom of choice was the best thing her parents could afford her in that situation.
She was never pressured into doing something she never wanted to do. Instead, she got support and guidance. That is exactly what your children need from you in their developing years — the right direction, resources, and guidance to make the best career choices possible. More than being authority figures, parents need to be involved. In addition to providing education, they essentially need to be their children's friends and guides. It is never too early to start a conversation with your kids about career options.
Here are some of the best ways possible to achieve this as a parent:
Help your kids discover their talents and interests.
Each of us has various likes, dislikes, strengths, and interests, and there are ways to identify our individual passions and interests in order to center our lives and careers around them. Parents should ensure that each child is given the opportunity to discover their own particular talents and skills. You should not automatically discourage your child from pursuing a career path just because it doesn’t seem to fit in with their natural talents. Think of ways your child can use their talents in that career field. They can offer an exceptional and important contribution there. There are many ways to find out what your child may be interested in. One of the ways is to simply ask them what they want to be when they grow up.
Help your child find a mentor.
Consult professionals in your child's preferred subjects of study. A first-hand experience can be more insightful than online research statistics. Have your child prepare a list of questions to ask them and ask for a meeting with them. Some examples of questions are: “What does the work routine look like?” “Do you enjoy what you do?” “What do I have to study to work in this field?” This will help them understand what their preferred career fully entails. Find your child a positive, motivating role model in that profession if they have a great interest in a certain career route. An excellent mentor can inspire your child to pursue their dreams in life. Additionally, you may talk about the kinds of careers that might be in line with their hobbies, abilities, or goals.
Remind your child that finding a job they love can be a lengthy process of exploring and experimenting. As people grow up, they could shift direction. Be understanding with your child as they make these challenging choices, and encourage them to keep discovering more about who they are so they can continue to develop into the person they were meant to be. Keep in mind that not everyone has a clear idea of what they want to accomplish, so their goals may change as your child gets older.
Avoid treating your child like a mini-you.
Remember that your child's choices and decisions should be based on their interests and skills rather than what you believe they should do. Your kid is a one-of-a-kind individual and you are not like them. Just because something interests you, doesn't mean your child has to tow that same path. It's possible that your child won't be motivated to pursue your career path or attend your alma mater. It is not a bad idea to make suggestions but try not to force your child into doing something that they might not enjoy in the future.
Consider employment options outside the norm.
We regularly talk about common professions like teaching, medicine, engineering, and law. Many kids might not be interested in these disciplines, so it's important to introduce them to more recent or in-demand fields. Both the arts and the sciences are always evolving in this present time. For instance, there is a high demand for content creators nowadays. A hundred years ago, this occupation was unheard of, yet today it is a respectable means of financial support. Try to keep an open mind when considering both conventional and unconventional careers.
Lead by example
Work on setting a fantastic example for your child by doing work you enjoy because they watch everything you do. Your children will learn that it's feasible for them to find professions they love when they see you pursuing a career you truly enjoy. You can always spend more time on the things you enjoy, so look for what makes you happy and focus on that instead of the trivial things.
Always remember that it is never too early to start thinking about your child's future. However, since you cannot predict the final outcome, you just have to provide the necessary guidance. How would you as a parent help your child choose the right career? Will you force them to abandon their childlike innocence and demand that they pursue a career mainly because of its benefits?
Or would you advise them to pursue their dreams and guarantee their lifelong happiness?
Great! I love this insight.. Thanks for sharing
Amazing write up, very insightful. Thanks 👍🏾