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Help Your Kid Choose a Career

There comes a time in the life of every child when they need a bit of guidance in regards to their career paths. But, how much help should you offer, and what can you focus on to avoid accidentally ruining their lives?

When it comes to giving career advice, a lot of people make a crucial mistake. They focus on what they believe and what they want for themselves. If you truly want to help someone, do not tell them to choose the career with the highest salary, or the career of prestige. Try to help them grow as a person instead.

Here are some tips on how to do that.

Do not treat your child as a newer version of you

Your child is its own individual. You cannot actually live through them and some of the regrets you might have about your own career choice don’t necessarily need to apply to your child. The very same thing that makes you hate your job might be the exact thing that your child would love in a workplace.

So, try to resist the urge to avoid a career simply because you believe it is a bad choice for whatever reason. And this is coming from someone who was forced to go through law school by his parents because it “pays well”, who hated every bit of it and is now refusing to put their degree to direct use and start a career in law.

So, do not force your child to become an engineer/attorney/doctor if that is not what they want and try to listen to them instead.

Help your child discover what he enjoys

Have a long talk with your child about their career and encourage them to visit a counselor to take aptitude tests. Now, do not get stuck to the result of the test. A proper test will simply advise a list of careers that your child would be best suited for. Also, if your child is rather interested in a career that is not recommended by the test, do not immediately rule it out. Instead, try to find a way to apply their strengths to that field of work.

And pay extra attention to your child while talking about possible career paths. Look for any signs of excitement about certain jobs.

Offer to find a mentor for the child

If your child is fairly interested in a career, you should try to find a role model for them. Someone who can work as a mentor in that field can offer two really important things. The first is obvious, it can fuel your child’s ambitions to see someone who does what they are interested in and who is doing well. The other one serves an opposite role. They can have an opportunity to notice if the actual job is not for them.

Expose them to various activities to expand their views

Give them chances to try new activities. Give them a chance to see artworks, try out sciences, to travel, try to help them see as many professions as you can. Hopefully, something will pique their interest. Whenever they do show interest in a job, try to talk to them and share your knowledge on the job. Or, if you do not know enough, try to connect them to people who do. In a lot of different occasions, the choice is going to be made gradually, by getting more and more knowledge about the career path.

Be extremely patient

While your child might be mature enough to make all the choices they need to, they will sometimes simply lack that quality. Their opinions might change in a day, and the process of self-discovery is a slow one. Every decision will seem to take ages to you and often times it will have glaring flaws that you would want to point out. However, most of the time, you will have years to work the kinks out with your child.

Just remember, this is not something that you do in 5 days when it comes the time to choose a career. It is something that takes years to do properly and encouraging your child to learn about themselves will help them grow into an amazing person.

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