Many parents do not imagine the career conversation is something they’ll have to worry about until their kid is in college.
But then your daughter tells you she’s passionate about medicine when she’s four, and you realize you don’t have that much time!
Thankfully, starting the career conversation this early prepares both of you for any future eventualities. Besides, it helps to know what your young one is passionate about because you can help them secure networking opportunities as they grow up.
Many parents choose to pay their kids an allowance to do house chores so they can learn the value of money. If you’re already doing this with your children, you can easily slip into a career conversation.
Or, if you want the exercise to be more practical, consider test driving different careers with your kids to see which ones they enjoy. You could start with your career because it’s a field you’re familiar with.
Practical discussions on careers allow your child to grow up knowing what they would enjoy doing for a living. It also makes your job easier as a parent because helping them choose a career will be less stressful.
Motivating your kids around career and finances is the best gift you can give them because it prepares them for the real world.
Continue reading to learn ten ways you can help your child choose a career:
1. Embrace Money Conversations
When the opening for this conversation presents itself, don’t shy away; embrace the discussion and listen to what your child has got to say.
You can also start the money conversation when you feel the time is right. Prodding your child’s thought process allows you to see areas where they will need guidance when it’s time to choose a career.
2. Support their Interests
Think of yourself as your child’s foundation in whichever career they want to venture into. If you give them the full support they need, you increase their chances of success.
However, if you’re always disputing their interests, they won’t feel confident in their abilities, and this attitude would set them up for failure.
3. Trust that they’ll Make the Right Choices
Many parents forget that while they’re supposed to guide their kids through life’s choices, it doesn’t mean that they’ve got the last say.
You should let your child make independent choices as this builds their confidence, knowing that you trust them to make the right choices.
4. Let them Learn from Their Mistakes
Even if the career path your child happens to go down does work out, don’t make them feel like they failed. Remind them that the experience they get from their short stints will be valuable someday.
Lifting your child even when they feel like their world is falling apart around them helps them grow a thick skin. In the future, they’ll be in a better position to deal with whichever challenges they face.
5. Don’t Give Up on Them
Remember that the journey to the ideal career is hardly ever straight. Think back to the time you were looking for your first job and offer your child the support you wish you had then.
This perspective ensures that you boost your child up, allowing them to reach for different possibilities.
6. Don’t Hover Over your Child
Note that hovering over your child is not in any way supporting them. Instead, you pressure them so much that they forget to be themselves.
For instance, if you accompany your 20-something offspring on a job interview, it will feel to them like they’re living their life for you.
So, instead of answering questions as themselves, they end up representing you, and this is how they miss jobs that they’re likely qualified for.
Standing behind your child in a supporting role does not include circling above, directing their every move.
7. Prioritize their Happiness
If you’re an overprotective parent, remind yourself that it’s their career and their happiness at stake. Allow them to take the lead because they can easily get back up if they feel you believe in them.
8. Talk About Your Professional Trials and Triumphs
What will give your child confidence in their quest for the ideal career is if you speak about your triumphs and shortcomings as a professional.
When you’re helping your child choose a career, you’ve got to take a break from parenting and be professional.
Talking to your child as a business owner, engineer, physician, or whichever professional allows them to see the bigger picture.
9. Introduce them to Career Lingo
Many fresh grads freak out when they speak to professionals and realize they don’t understand any of the career lingo thrown into conversations. To save your child from this career shock, introduce them to career lingo earlier on.
Aside from cover letters, resumes, and job applications, also teach them about industry-specific vocabularies professionals use in conversations.
In case you’re out of practice with cover letter-writing, you can always turn to academic services for professional help.
10. Teach Them Job Skills
By the time your child is going for their first interview, they should know how to negotiate a fair salary. When you’re showing them how to apply for a job and prepare for a job interview, don’t forget to research salaries.
These tips will help you be the best parent to your child as they prepare for their future career. When you’re their support system, they won’t feel afraid to talk to you about work challenges when they finally get hired.
Being an open-minded parent allows you to stay longer in your child’s life.