4 Ways To Help Your Child Choose Their Career
Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions one has to make in their life.Generations have been so focussed on the ‘respectable’ nature of a career, that they’ve forgotten about productivity.
Your child will be the most productive, happy, and successful in a career that makes them feel like they’re made for it. A good career choice is one that’s psychologically liberating and positive reinforcement for the individual’s self-esteem.
So, how do you make your child choose a career that’s right for them? How do you help them get a job that won’t make them hate going to the office? Which best parenting practices can you follow to ensure that your child isn’t miserable because of their career choice(s)?
Here are things every parent must keep in mind if they want their child to have a career that leaves their heart and mind satisfied.
1. Stop belittling their competencies –
Long before some children are actually ready to take on their first job, they’re at the mercy of their parents discouraging, sarcastic remarks about their skills/abilities as human beings. So many make snap judgement career choices, with the sole dream of ‘seeing the look on Dad’s/Mom’s face’. It’s sad, and a downhill journey of wasted resources, efforts, and emotions.
It’s very important for parents to recognise their kids’ strengths and interests from the early years. Your child’s interests might change over time, but having parents’ support gives a child the confidence to explore their full potential and helps them find what they really love.
Instead of being critical about your child’s weaknesses, you should focus on what makes your child special from others. A parent’s duty is to guide and motivate their child and not to pull them down. In order to please the society, don’t kill your child’s dreams, aspirations, and natural talents.
2. Talk to them regularly about their aspirations –
Know the difference between talking to your children, and talking at them. The dinner table discussion around your child’s career isn’t a chance for you to talk about your (glorious) CV. It’s not the place to think out loud or to rationalise any crappy decisions you ever took. Be grateful for the fact that your child wants to talk about their career plans with you. Aren’t you otherwise always complaining that your child’s ears seem to be for decorative purposes only? Make open-ended observations. “You look so happy and excited when you’re painting”, will fetch you a richer response than, “I don’t see why you’re so obsessive about painting all the time”.
Learn about their aspirations and help them figure out the future prospects. Remember, your child isn’t you. Everyone’s journey is different, and so would be your child’s. It isn’t necessary that your best intentions for your child would prove the best for them. Surely, do talk to your child about your experiences, and the ups and downs, but not in a way it intimidates them from following their dreams.
3. Get your child excited about networking –
This applies not just while your child is looking for a job, but even when he/she is gearing up for university/college applications or internships. Be a facilitator. Offer advice, and contact details of potentially useful connections. Don’t behave like you’re doing them favours. Don’t spoon-feed them. Let them feel the ‘vibe’ that you’re respectful of their progressive transition into independent adulthood; and that you’re happy to give them the space and trust that a young adult needs and deserves.
This would help your child build confidence to face the real world and understand how things actually work. The sooner your child learns the art of networking, the better they would be able to make an informed decision or even grab their dream job.
4. Praise when it’s due; console when necessary –
Not every child makes the perfect career choice(s) at the outset. The journey can be fraught with disillusionment, fear, and feelings of inadequacy. But, that’s what life is all about. It isn’t predictable. Even the most ‘conventional’ and ‘safe’ plans could fail. However, once a failure doesn’t mean always a failure. As a parent, you need to enter their private space with permission, so that they don’t feel patronised. You need to listen more, and speak only that which makes an impact. You need to become a partner, a friend. Be genuinely happy for any success, and try not to hog the limelight by taking personal credit. Focus on your child’s efforts, and the ingenuity with which they attained their success. You’ll convince your child of your faith in them!
Celebrate your child’s accomplishments and help them overcome their failures Also, it’s very important to teach them to not let their success get to their head and their low moments take a toll on their self-confidence. Make them realise the importance of being humble and open to learning-always. You can’t shield/prepare your child enough for their destined share of life experiences. In the context of career decisions, do your best to raise a child who can identify a calling. Not a profession, job, or occupation; but an invitation to that which excites the soul.