Every child will need to decide on his future career at some point. Some children will have a clear idea right from the start, while some won’t. Schooling years can go by faster than you think and getting your child to start considering his career path is better done sooner than later. Most of the time, a little push is all that’s needed and as parents, there are a lot of things you can do to plant this thought into your child’s mind.
Exploring Different Interests
Knowing which activities your child enjoys doing the most can provide an opening to possible career paths. Encourage your child to try different interests and skills, including the ones that don’t apply to his general preference This will help expand his skill set and tap into any hidden talents. Switch between physical and intellectual interests like tennis and chess. Engage in both outdoor and indoor activities. Having set foot in all kinds of activities, your child will be able to learn what he truly enjoys and experience a boost in self-confidence. Not only that, it will also help him discover potential paths for tertiary education.
Instil Life Skills
Before they start thinking about a job, children need to learn some basic life skills. Start them off with basic house chores like cleaning and laundry. Then have them expand their services to friends and family or encourage them to get a part-time job. This will teach them very early on about the importance of aspects like punctuality, problem solving and working with others. In the long run, these habits will stay with them and help them grow into functional adults.
Kids usually don’t have a grasp on life responsibilities and how the world works. This can also be a reason for them taking little interest in having any aspirations or goals in life. Have an open conversation with your kids about the importance of a stable job and what it can do for their future. Educate them on what adult life can be like without intimidating them. It’s important for them to understand that they won’t be in school forever, for them to start taking things seriously. Having this self-awareness and accepting their responsibilities as future adults are important steps to prepare them for adult life. As important as this is, it’s also equally important that your opinions are not forced onto your child. They need to be allowed to make their own decisions with your guidance.
Create A Transition Plan
A transition plan is a curated strategy to help your child move on to adult life from secondary school or tertiary education. Working with their school counsellors and teachers can help you come up with a viable plan for their future, while keeping their passion and interests in mind. A transitional plan should include long-term goals, including career and education goals. To further bring it together, it should also include ways your child can prepare for those goals in the next coming years. For example, if the goal includes a career in photography, the plan should come with resources such as having a decent camera, experimenting with it and learning how to grow his passion into a career.
Talk To Others
One of the best ways to know more about different jobs is to talk to those who know best. Encourage your children to approach people with different jobs. This can be anyone from a neighbour to a friend’s parent. Even the teachers in school can be approached to make this happen. Motivate your child to talk to them about the pros and cons of the job. Finding out more about various jobs can help spark your child’s interest and get them thinking about it.
Similarly, job shadowing can also present your child with the opportunity to learn in detail about any job that they might be interested in. Just by following someone they know for a few hours, they will be able to learn more about that job in great detail. If permissible, you can also bring your child to your workplace to expose them to your job so that they can learn through that experience. Not only that, this can also expose your children to different jobs that they might not have been aware of before.
Choosing a career path or even thinking about it can present a lot of stress and concern for both children and teenagers. During this crucial time, it's important that parents support and help their kids to make good choices. By simply supporting your child's decisions and being there for them, you can make a lot of difference in how your child's career path pans out.