Kids today have the potential to make more risky career decisions than any other generation.
They have the tools to venture into the life of different professionals without leaving the comfort of their home. The only downside is that there is a greater conflict of opinions among children and their parents. While the parent might want to give children total freedom to choose a career, they unknowingly end up imposing their thought process on to their children.
Choosing a career is the most important decision that a child has to take. We expect children to make the right call with practically no experience into the ‘real world’.
It’s important to provide proper guidance and support to children at this stage. Some ways for parents to help their children make a decision are:
1. Remember that a child is not an extension of yourself: this does not mean that parents should just stop imposing their dreams on to their children, it’s also important to remember that the child might have different values and expectations from his career. Before you dismiss your child’s career choice as ‘impractical’, ask the child what is it that he wants to achieve through his dream career.
2. Have honest discussion: when talking to the child about your journey into the professional life, refrain from exaggerating your struggles or your achievements. Tell the kids about the realities of the job world, responsibilities that require attention, etc.
3. Seek professional help: if you feel the child is unable to figure out what he wants to do or what he wants to study, consult a career guidance professional. Psychometric assessments and counselling sessions can help the child identify the right career for himself.
4. Let them explore: give your child ample opportunities to explore as many career options as possible. This would include taking him to career fairs, inviting your friends from different professional background so that the child can interact and understand about different options.
Choosing a career is as daunting for the child as it is for the parent. Remaining a constant source of support and motivation for the child is the best role a parent can play in his journey to a successful career.