Today, children are taught to be career oriented at a young age. Oftentimes, around the 8th and 9th grade, schools in the United States offer career aptitude tests and require students to choose courses of study in high school that are inline with their future employment plans. And with so many job options available, choosing just one career at such a young age – can be a difficult thing to do. In fact, around half of all college upperclassmen change majors in their junior year, and more than half of all graduating college students end up working in an industry that is different from the one they studied in college. Obviously, some of this has to do with job availability. But another reason that so many people are job disoriented is because none of us really know what the future holds. And, there is a confusing message being applied to students today that encourages them to choose monetary gains over passion.
As a parent, it is important to begin helping your son or daughter choose a career early in life. In doing so, it is vitally important that you enable your child to have as much exposure to different areas of employment as possible. If she is dead set on being a hairdresser, and you worry about her future financial success – then think about directing her into the business world where she can own a string of hair salons, rather than just rent space. Remind your child that there are many options – even inline with their interests that may offer them more financial success. That being said, don’t push or drive home the message that the only thing that matters is a 6-figure income.
Far too many parents – hope and pray and push their kids in the direction of careers that earn the most money. And yet today – there are millions of adults stuck in high paying jobs that they feel no passion for. Going to work every day, to do a job you hate in order to earn a paycheck, while financially beneficial can also be a terrible way to live. As parents help their sons and daughters find careers, it is important to keep this in mind. Remember – your child’s happiness comes first.
Probably the best advice for parents is to allow their son or daughter to make some choices on his or her own. If your child has a knack for science and enjoys helping others, try to get them some internship and encourage them to take classes in healthcare. If your son or daughter is dead set on law enforcement, then set up ride alongs with community police departments so they can get a first hand look at what a job entails. If your child has a natural talent and ability for art – the explore options where they can use their talent. Also, do not be afraid to enroll them for credited or non-credited classes at local colleges and tech institutes so they can get some hands on experience in the fields of study that they are interested in pursuing. There’s also the option to take up courses online. This enables students to enroll in classes they might be interested while still pursuing a different field. If they plan on becoming a teacher, you can encourage them to check out online teaching programs ca or similar courses so they learn what best fits their interests.
Should you force your child down a career path, or to follow in mom or dads footsteps? Based on a report from the United States Board of Education, only 11% of students follow in the footsteps of their parents when it comes to career choices. If your child is interested, then do your best to give them the best advice you can and expose them to as many real world experiences in the field as possible. Your know-how and connections will definitely help them out in their career. But if they are not interested, it is best to keep the doors of opportunity open. Sure, you may be disappointed. But remember that your child, although born from your DNA is also an individual. At the end of the day, you want your child to be happy and successful – something accomplished more easily when children are allowed to follow their passions. With that being said, ASK your kids what they like to do, how they see themselves in ten years, what sorts of things interest them. Even you, as their parent might be surprised by their answers.
It is also okay to have a child that just doesn’t know what they want to do. In fact, most kids don’t. And even if they have an idea, as mentioned earlier – life experience tends to change minds about career choices. Don’t put too much pressure on your child to choose. Be open to them working after they graduate for a while, or allowing them to have time to explore their interests and passions on their own. Having a 17 year old who doesn’t know how they want to spend their life working is not the end of the world. Assist in as many ways as you can without being pushy, or stressing them out. The reality is that they don’t have to make this choice RIGHT NOW, and even if they do – things are always subject to change.
Your son and daughter have plenty of time. With parents who are invested in their future, you will find that while you can help steer them in the right direction, ultimately THEY have to be the ones to make the choice. Offering as many options as possible and staying conscious of your child’s interests and passions will ensure that they have both a successful and happy future.