As you probably know, parents play a big part in their kids’ career options so helping your child on her career path is important. Now, that’s not to say she should have her career mapped out by 12-years-old but knowing the options available definitely helps. So how do you help your kid find her dream career(s)?
Assist your child in assessing herself. Do this by:
- Aiding your child in creating a list of activities she likes doing in her leisure time and things she dislikes doing.
- Assisting her in discovering the subjects that she likes and is good at.
- Having her create a list of things others have said she does well.
- Asking her what her dream careers might be.
- Talking with her about what she thinks she would value most in a career; this can include things like creating art, having high income, working outdoors and more.
Over a period of time, present as many career options as possible to your child (don’t overwhelm her with choices though). The careers you present will depend on her personality, traits and interests. Allow your child to choose what appeals to her most and assist her in gathering info on specific careers. Help her find out:
- Education and training needed
- Entry-level requirements
- Primary job tasks
- Job outlook
- Common personality features found and the standard skills needed
When your child has gotten the necessary info on a few career fields, help her get some real-life experience. You can do this through similar extracurricular activities, job shadowing and if she’s old enough, allowing her to work or intern during the summer or a holiday. This will help your child see what the daily activities are in a specific job and discover if it’s something she wants to pursue.
A few other tips:
- Try not to deter your child from discovering more about a specific career even if you don’t think it’s right for her.
- Don’t push your ideas on your child, and stay away from negative comments that might impede on her choices.
- When doing job shadows, be sure that you are aware of who the individual is and that he or she has the experience to teach your child about the career.