What you need to know:
- Make sure your child feels empowered and confident when exploring their interests and career options.
- Paying attention to what they do and how they do tasks can help you discover their strengths and areas of improvement.
As a parent, it is normal to have an opinion about what career path your child should pursue. While their resistance to parental guidance that is typical at this age can be upsetting, it is worth noting that they might know what they want better than you. This does not mean you do not guide your child, it means you actively guide them towards that decision this best for them.
Here are some tips.
Identify your child’s talents and interests
Ask them what they like to do for fun or about school subjects that they enjoy.
Consider visiting your teen’s school and engage with the teachers. These will help you keep tabs on what your teen is good at and where guidance is needed.
Finally, encourage your teen to explore extracurricular activities and challenges whenever possible. This will give you a better idea of where they are on the “interests” spectrum and whether it’s a good time for them to explore careers along these lines.
Consider their strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits
Strengths refer to actions or tasks which someone does well, weaknesses are skills they need to improve on, and personality traits refer to how your kid interacts with themselves and others. These three elements can play a crucial role in helping you identify what career areas your child will likely succeed in.
Paying attention to what they do and how they do tasks can help you discover their strengths and areas of improvement. Asking about interests could lead to a discussion about traits that might give you a better idea of what careers will match them best.
Encourage your teen to explore different career opportunities
This will allow them to find out what they would like to do in a more hands-on manner. Luckily, there are many opportunities for teens to explore different careers without even leaving home. For example, some schools offer classes in everything from engineering and video production to nursing and law enforcement. They can also go for field trips that will help them gain insights into their futures.
If your child wants something more interactive than sitting in a classroom all day, try connecting with companies that offer internships or apprenticeships that match their interests. That way, they can work on real projects while still attending school. If you are in a position to, explore the possibility of them traveling for work or volunteering abroad.
Discuss the pros and cons of each career choice with your teenager before they make a decision
It is vital to discuss the pros and cons of each career choice so they can think about what they want and need for their future. Discussing the benefits of each job such as salary, hours, location, and any drawbacks, such as travel or safety concerns is an excellent place to start.
A discussion like this will also provide an opportunity to talk about why specific jobs are more appealing than others (for example, “I enjoy traveling” or “I don’t want to work on weekends”) which can be helpful information for your teen to keep in mind.
Consider what might happen if they decide on one thing, and it doesn’t work out – how can you support them in those situations? Finally, talk about where education will come into play because not every career will require a four-year degree.
Consult a career coach
A career coach is a good choice for parents because they can offer guidance and reassurance on the process. In addition, a career coach will help your teen discover which occupations are best for them and how they can prepare themselves. They will also provide insights into the pros and cons of particular professions.
Furthermore, the coach will help your child feel more confident about their abilities by checking in with them from time to time, guiding them through projects, and providing feedback when needed. If you decide to hire someone for this service, always choose someone with a background in coaching adolescents or working with teens.
Make sure your child feels empowered and confident when exploring their interests and career options. In the end, it’s important to remember that teens are still developing and may not know what they want in life. Be there for them through this process by guiding their career decisions with love and support because you have a significant influence on your child’s future success.