Careers Planning : To ensure that your child is set up for a future successful career, financial security and an excellent quality of life is a challenge for every parent. As a parent, even if your child would not like to admit, I will look for your advice and guidance.
Parents have a very crucial role to play in the decision-making of the career path your children choose to pursue; but how involved should the parent be in this decision-making process? Should a parent adopt a hands-on role? At this time what is the best advice you can give your child?
Parents have adopted beliefs about success, the way to achieve success, and what constitutes a ‘good job’ or ‘ideal life’. Anything we feedback to our child is predicated on these beliefs and our own experiences. Many folks make the error of trying to shield our child from the mistakes that we made – whether knowingly or unknowingly. While we can guide them away from some of the pitfalls we encountered, they’ll inevitably make mistakes and hiccups along the journey – but these hiccups are vital for their personal growth.
The best thing you can give is a mature and sensible mind-set, giving your children the tools to form their own informed decisions.
How you can influence your child:
- Having a strong, mature parent-child relationship
- Set a good example (socially, personally and professionally) for your child
- The attitudes, views, and values you adopt and express
- The expectations you set for your children’s education, career, and life
- The opportunities you provide for your children to learn and develop.
In terms of career choice, you should:
- Aid, but not dictate, the decision-making process
- Support your child’s decisions
- Give your children freedom and time to discover their skills
- Provide motivation to develop and achieve
- Provide encouragement to pursue interests and ambitions
- Try to give a responsible attitude and a mature outlook
- Giving an attitude of self-belief by being positive and never critical – as a parent, your words will have the biggest effect on your child.
What should you bear in mind when helping your child with career planning?
The decisions we make in our youth can impact our career path. If parents pressurize this decision, the child may end up following a career that, deep down, they aren’t interested in. At the same time, without practical guidance and support when pursuing education, poor choices can be made. It is always better to do career planning.
Every child has a unique set of skills and aptitudes. Each child is individual in their own way, they may possess different skills and abilities to their parents. With this in mind, adopting a similar career role to either parent may not be the right course of action.
We all take the time to ‘find the right career’. Parents often say things like “pick a course you think you’ll like”. Though it may seem they’re doing the right thing in terms of steering their children in the right direction, parents also need to understand that we all need space and time to discover what we truly want to pursue. University, for example, isn’t for everyone – and engaging in relevant work experience and/or undertaking an apprenticeship can be just as valuable in finding a suitable vocation in which you can thrive.
The trick here is to educate children that life is about self-discovery and new skills and talents are developed. How many of us are in careers we thought we would be in when we were 18? We can only make decisions based on what we know about ourselves at the time, take the pressure off of them by letting them know it’s okay that they aren’t sure what they want to do yet but the important thing is to be proactive in finding their way.