Something that every child is faced with at some point in their life is choosing a career path for themselves. While the experience may be relatively smooth for some, for many it is cumbersome and stressful. And as overwhelming as it may seem, it is an unavoidable part and parcel of life.
A study conducted by the renowned Ernst & Young reported about 42% of children seeking career related advice and guidance from their parents. Contrary to that, about 54% of parents are unaware of the variety of choices their child can pick from. That said, 56% of the parent participants of this survey said that choosing a career for their child was more stressful than changing a job or moving places.
Our Life Coaches here at Dial My Angel also tend to encounter many concerned parents who approach us with a motive to help their child decide upon a promising and satisfactory career field.
One such parent was Mrs. Lata, who wanted to help her daughter Navya choose something that would best suit her talent and interests. Navya has just entered into Class 12th, and is actively seeking help with various career options which she could choose from. Her mother is a school-teacher, while her father works in the Government Sector. Being somebody who was yet in the process of familiarising herself with the diverse career choices that exist out there, both she and her daughter decided to sought professional assistance so that they can make the best possible choice for Navya.
Here’s how Parents can Help
While every parent may wants nothing but the best for their child, many are found to struggle during their child’s choice of career phase.
Let us therefore understand how as a parent, one can not only be more supportive, but also a better guide. :-)
Guiding v/s Controlling
Firstly, it is important for parents to acknowledge the difference between being a guide and being a controller. Guiding signifies that a parent is helping their child choose a career line wherein the ultimate decision making power lies with the latter. However, in a bid to secure their safe future, many parents take it upon themselves to choose a career for their child. Realising the difference between both these terms would help your child feel supported by you, as well as empowered to make their own individual choices.
Encourage individual sense of identity
There is a significant difference between giving your child fulfilling their own aspirations, and your child fulfilling your unachieved aspirations. Every parent too, at some point in time, may have encountered failure. However, that does not mean that one must make their offspring feel responsible of accomplishing those milestones. Having meaningful conversations with your child that support individuality would not only promote uniqueness, but would also help your child define their own identity in terms of their career choice.
Be open to exploring
When trying to help our child decide upon a study program, while many are busy looking up various academic alternatives being offered, a lot of us skip the part of exploring the various job profiles falling under the domain of these programs. With an ever diversified professional realm, and a constant increase in the variety of job roles being offered, it is always smart to keep up with the on-going trends in the market, so that one is not only aware of the academic, but also the employment aspect of their careers.
Your child’s strengths and passions are important
As parents, most of us go the conventional way of “telling” our children to choose from career paths followed by the masses, since they are commonly believed to offer a sense of job security and financial stability to a professional. However, what matters most is the willingness of your child to want to take up a career path that can envision themselves sticking to, for the times to come. Seeking assistance from a Career Guidance Expert and undergoing assessments such as Myers Briggs Test, or the Holland Code Test in order to know where your child’s strengths and passions lie could do wonders. :-)
Your tribe is your vibe
There is a reason most people swear by this statement. Psychological studies suggest that a person’s individual make-up is the average of the first 5 person they spend the most amount of their time with. While it is important that we do not make our child feel like we’re judging their friends, we can always motivate them to stay cautious as they go around choosing their go-to people, as it would impact their own growth and development in the long run. So for instance, should you child have ambitious and hardworking friends, it is more likely that they too would be more willing to turn out that way.
Mentor mentor all the way
If your child happens to showcase an interest in one or more career fields, a great way to boost their morales is to help them find an optimistic and encouraging mentor. These mentors could be those persons who are currently pursuing the fields your child wishes to explore further ahead. As seniors or professionals who would have hands-on experience in the area, they would not only be able to impart informative tips to your child, but also guide them step by step in a more fruitful manner.
Navya was lucky to have found the most cooperative, supportive, and friendly parent in Mrs. Lata. They realised that choice of one’s career goes beyond mere selection of a suitable academic program. Right from your social circle to your family environment, it is a collective set of factors that help shape a person into a productive professional.
Remember, Happy Individuals not only find it easier to achieve career success, but also value and treasure it much more! ;-)
Disclaimer: Please note that we are not a crisis intervention helpline. Should you have severe symptoms or have thought about harming yourself, please seek immediate medical help or call suicide prevention helplines such as
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