5 Ways to support your child in a career choice!
Created by Parentune Support Updated on Oct 11, 2020
"But ma, I don't want to do engineering. I'm not going to take up Science subjects." Tina threw her hands up in exasperation as she asked her daughter what she wanted to do with her life. "I want to study literature or journalism" came the reply. Tina's argument was that literature didn't rake in the moolah, and journalism was only for "those activist types."
Tina is one of the many parents who find it upsetting when their child has made a career choice quite unlike their own. When the time comes to choose her career, your child will be looking to you for support. So it is certainly not the time to have a power struggle, but one to show kindness and empathy. There is bound to be loads of peer pressure, so it is important to guide your child towards making a choice that works well for her.
How Can I Help My Child Make A Career Choice?
When your child is at crossroads to choose a subject based on career aspirations, remember that this is his life. It helps to remove your own unfulfilled ambitions or dreams from your mind before you begin to help him. Here are some tips to help your child make a career choice-
- Listen, and respect: Have a meaningful conversation with your child about what his dream career is. If he has interests, don't be dismissive of them, however flippant they might appear to you. Some children are naturally driven and do a lot of research and work independently, but some need more guidance. Whatever the case may be, let your child know that you're there for him. As a parent, you will, of course, evaluate the feasibility in terms of safety, physical capabilities, skills and access to colleges
- Access to different activities: Giving your child the opportunity to try out new things will help him find not only his interest, but his strengths and weaknesses. Encourage him to be passionate about what interests him
- Move with the times: There are so many new career options that are open to your child, in comparison with when you set out to achieve your dreams. Help your child research available options based on his interest. For e.g., if your child is interested in languages, he can explore teaching, creative writing, journalism, or even further his linguistic skills to be an interpreter
- Seek professional help:Visit career fairs, and meet professionals if you have a tough time evaluating options. There are career counsellors who can help you through the process
- Encourage your child to get experience: It's never too early to form a network of sorts. If there are volunteering opportunities in school or outside, let your child make use of them. This not only gives him something to put on his CV later, but provides real-world experience.
- Help him prepare: Research the requirements for the various college courses and entrance exams for admission. If coaching classes are necessary, find out the best ones suited to him. If there are training centers that offer courses to skill up in his area of interest, check if he's interested in enrolling
- A taste of the real thing: If possible, get him to visit an adult you know, at work. Shadowing someone who does what he dreams of doing is a great way to learn about the realities in his field of interest. A lot of organizations have a "Bring Your Child To Work" day. So if your child's interest is aligned with your (or a close relative's) work, grab this opportunity
As a parent, your instinct will always be to protect. However, when the time comes for your child to soar, make sure you let go. Treating your child as someone who will pursue ambitions that you couldn't, will only lead to resentment. Shower him with love and encouragement, and watch him bloom into a well-rounded individual.
How did you respond when your child approached you for career advice? Let us know in the comment section!
| May 13, 2017
I think we should monitor the interest of child, by watching his activities, interest and develop his skills according to his interest and choose his carrier accordingly. Also we should set a carrier goal in earlier stages of life and should tell the importance of it so that our children can walk on that path.
| Jul 22, 2017
my son thirteen year old says he wants to become a scientist,. it's very hard for him to get in financially, academically, how to convince him . that feild is not suitable for him in all aspects Whats the use in travelling in a wrong path. if his interest is really that I won't force him
| Sep 24, 2017
my child is of 13 years old, he has shown his interest in being an advocate because he thinks that being an advocate I can help him out and can be a supporter in his career. He finds himself as a logical and can do arguements very well. He has flair of communication skill and the courage to keep his thoughts in front of anyone. I am happy to see this but wanted to know that shall i show him more options. His father never wanted him to be an advocate.
| Sep 25, 2017
my son is 15 year old he wants to be DJ so he is going to attend music class but I want to say this is only hobby not career he was good in study but this year he is in 10 and did not get pass Mark in half yearly every one is worrying because if he didn't get good marks in board what will he do he didn't want to talk to me on this topic.