Early career development is imperative. When interests and passions are in perfect harmony with career goals, professional life becomes simpler, more satisfying, and more rewarding.
Parents can figure out their children’s likes and interests by observing when they show enthusiasm for a particular activity. By expanding their children’s knowledge and developing their skills based on their interests, they can prepare them for a successful career. Furthermore, positive parental influence can affect children’s career choices in a positive manner. In addition, they will be more confident and self-aware when choosing a career if they have already been prepared.
Below are seven ideas for high school students designed to help them achieve their career goals.
- Explore their interests
Every child has an innate inclination towards subjects, hobbies, and talents. By asking a few questions, you can learn more about their likes and dislikes and help them choose a major or career that aligns with their interests. For instance, you can ask them:
- What is your favorite academic subject?
- Which sport would they love to play?
- What are their favorite pastime activities?
- Ask them about their most-loved movies.
- Which character of the movie do they feel more connected to?
- Which books are poetry they feel inclined towards?
- How well are they getting along in their extracurricular activities?
- Who are their role models?
The questions are thought-provoking. Not only will they reveal your child’s interests to you, but they will also help them discover their underlying passions.
- Check out career counseling
Often school career counselors will do the job for you. They have expert training, knowledge and expertise to help students achieve their career aspirations. As coaches, they discover children’s hidden talents, interests, and passions, leading them towards the path of self-awareness. If you, as a parent, wish to take up a role of a career counselor as well, enroll yourself in a masters in school counseling online program that will open the door to new opportunities. Not only can you help your child navigate through career possibilities, but you’ll also be able to explore job options. The duration of this online program can be two to three-year-long, allowing you to maintain home responsibilities simultaneously. The online program is designed to assist students in choosing majors, selecting colleges, preparing for college admission tests, and applying for scholarships.
- Walk them through your journey
When parents share their life experiences with children, they not only enjoy them but also gain inspiration from them. Take advantage of this time with your family to explain how your life experiences influenced your career choices. Your kids will learn from you and follow in your footsteps.
Discuss the key events, people, and influences that shaped your career path. Tell them about your childhood dreams and how certain occasions shifted your interest toward different career options. You can also talk about your first volunteer work or how you got motivated after your first salary.
There must have been mentors and role models who had an impact on you and influenced your career choice. Share the journey, step by step, and see how it will encourage them to find a path of their own. Your journey will also prepare them for unpredictable and unplanned events in their life, which they can use to shape their career rather than forfeit it.
As you engage in back-and-forth conversation, you can also ask them about their role models and events that play an important role in their lives.
- Arrange a role-model meet up
High school students are mostly drawn to popular majors such as business, medical, marketing, etc. Professional information sessions can help them to understand better the pros and cons of the specialization or career path they wish to pursue. You can arrange sessions with professionals in the field of your children’s interests, so they can inspire them with their stories of success.
For instance, if your child is interested in engineering, connect them to an engineer who can give them advice about engineering careers, perks and incentives, career opportunities, etc. They can gain a lot of information about their area of interest by interviewing them one-on-one, as well as discovering the sub-specialties within their favorite major.
- Shadow a professional
To inculcate career development in children, arrange visits to professional workplaces where they learn about the daily practices of careers they are interested in. Shadowing a profession is the best practice to maximize your information about any domain.
Numerous high school and college career centers facilitate and assist students in scheduling job shadowing visits. By following the standard operating procedures specific to each business or industry, students can also request shadowing visits in their interest’s field on their own. Nevertheless, they must remain patient and disciplined when shadowing visits.
- Help them with research
The Internet provides reliable, up-to-date information backed by scientific evidence. You can direct your children to websites that provide career information and tools that can help them explore career options.
Many sites such as Career Exploration or OnetOnline are excellent platforms for students who are starting out. Information on these websites allows students to explore occupations based on their industry and provides job descriptions and occupational data. Sites such as Career Center helps students in finding career profiles and industry resources.
You can help them select suitable careers by administering career tests. Your Free Career Test and career test at LiveCareer are two valuable resources identifying your children’s attitudes towards different professions.
- Push them towards volunteer work
Encourage your child to look for volunteer opportunities that will establish a professional tone for them. The experience of volunteering boosts your child’s career and enhances their skills.
Websites like LinkedIn and VolunteerMatch list employment opportunities and unpaid internships. Students can also filter their search to find opportunities close to home. United Nations volunteer listings offer virtual learning opportunities to students by providing online job opportunities.
Parents are the biggest role models and first mentors for children. As a parent, it is our duty to instill career inspirations in our children that will contribute to their long-term personal and professional growth. Often children struggle to discover their talents and passions. Being a parent, you can play an important role at this point in their lives and help them uncover their hidden potential. Teachers and career counselors play a similar role. They are instrumental in shaping the lives of teenagers, who are the country’s future, by guiding them correctly.