Help Your Teen Make a Career Choice: The job and the life that you have right now came from the decision that you have done in the past.
These decisions lead you on becoming good parents, a good citizen, and a successful individual. One of the most difficult decisions that you have done is career choice, right?
And let me guess what you felt back then.
Back then, you are hesitant to decide whether what career you are going to pursue, you list down all the possible pros and cons before deciding for your career choice. And you asked advice from your friends, classmates and of course to your parents.
You asked them different things, such as “what shall I do? What should I choose as career?” and many more questions.
And from there you came up with a vision and reason to pursue the career you have right now. Because of those variables you are now a professional individual in a certain field.
The same way you experienced all those problems and doubts in choosing a career.
Your teen is also prone in having a hard time and issues about their career choice.
For sure right now, they are confused and challenged about this, because this is one of the most important decision a teenager can do.
So, your guidance is important for them especially during this crucial time.
But what can you do to your teenager make the right career choice in life? How can you as parents help your teen make a career choice help them as their parents and only guidance?
Do not worry I have got you covered in this blog
Topics Covered in this Blog
- What is Career Choice?
- Why is making the right career choice important?
- What are the effects of poor career choice?
- Some context on Talent
- Questionnaire to spot your teen’s god given talent
- How to narrow down on career choices
- Ways to help your teen make a career choice.
What is Career Choice?
Let us first discuss what a career choice is; from the term “career choice” it refers to an action of choosing a career or a profession that someone will take. Basically, it is a decision making in choosing a job or a work.
It will dictate the kind of workplace that your teenager will have after they graduated in college.
For example, their career choice is to be a lawyer. Your teen will have to enroll in a college which offers a law degree related courses, and then at some point in the future they will have to work on the workplace of a lawyer.
They will be in court, performing the duties of a lawyer, such as: defending their clients, interpreting laws for businesses and individual and giving advice for legal matters.
So, career choice will be the basis on how your teenager will spend their huge amount of time in the future. This means, career choice your teenager is something that you need to pay attention and help your teen make a career choice that suits them.
How important a career choice? Does it make any difference if your son or daughters pursue any kind of career or profession?
Why is making the right career choice important?
Here are the lists of some benefits your teen will reap when you help your teen make a career choice that is right for them:
- Increase productivity
If, you love and like the kind of work that you are doing it will cause positive effects. One of the positive effects is being productive. Same way in career choice, the more your teen loved it, the more productive they will become.
- Less stress
Proper career choice will help your teenager to be less stress in the future. It will make them mentally healthy and away from anxiety and depression.
The more your teen loved what they are doing the better. Proper career choice can grant a lot of benefits and on that is making sure that your teenager is healthy physically and mentally.
- Secure future
Career choice will secure the future of your teen financially. Correct career choice can help them earn huge profit while doing the things that they truly love.
Positivity is important to help your teen be ready in any work situation. But having a correct choice in career can make your teenager positive throughout their career.
- Motivated and inspired
Career choice can help your teenager stay motivated and inspired in the work place no matter how hard the circumstances are.
- Career growth
Proper career choice is equal career growth. If, your teenager chose the profession that they truly like and enjoy there is a huge tendency that they will chose to pursue even further.
What are the effects of poor career choice?
This is just some of the few positive effects in the life of your teenager if they chose the right career choice.
But also, there are some negative effects if your teenager had chosen the career that the do not really want.
These are the negative effects:
- Financial problem
The majority of the life of your teenager will be spend on their career. So, guiding them to come up with the right career choice is important because as a parent, we do not want our son or daughter to be stressed at some point in the future.
So, I hope you understand now why it is important to help your teen make a career choice.
You might be inserted to browse through some of our teen related topics from the given link -> Parental challenges raising teenagers.
Some context on Talent
To spot talent, you need to understand what talent means.
You need to know the difference between a hobby and a talent.
As per dictionary.com
Talent: natural aptitude or skill. (The synonyms are flair, aptitude, facility, gift, knack, technique, touch, bent, ability, expertise).
Hobbies: An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.
Talent is your NATURAL aptitude or skill. It is what you are born with.
I always tell my kids. The dish that you are going to make in your life. The ingredients (translate: Talents) are already packed inside you and sent.
When you understand the ingredients well and use it wisely you are going to make one hell of an outstanding dish.
Many activities give you pleasure. They are not necessary your talents. I love to sing in the bathroom. Singing is not my talent and I do not want to make a career out of it.
But as per Steve Harvey. Talent is something that comes easily and naturally to you with minimum effort. And your talent will make room for you.
When career choices are based on this. Your kid will make one hell of an outstanding dish.
Questionnaire to spot your teen’s god given talent
I have outlined 15 points below. The question I ask my teen or people who come to me for career advice to get an idea of the talent the person possess. This will help you to help your teen make a career choice that is naturel fit for them…
- What does your teen enjoy doing?
- What accomplishment comes naturally to them? (My second one can fix things, just like that… do something get it all sorted)
- What type of activities has your teen participated in school?
- When asked to study which is the subject they naturally gravitate towards?
- When your teen is utterly bored what do you think their favorite activity is (My elder one plays cricket) (assume there is no screen time).
- When you think of your teen what is the main character trait that comes to your mind?
- What attribute is your teen most admired for?
- When your teen was small what role plays/ pretend plays did they always chose to play?
- What are the activities your teen hates to do? (my second one hates cooking, my elder one hates reading)
- What is your teen’s favorite chores? Why do they like doing it?
- What makes your teen different from your other children?
- Tell the first career that comes to your mind when you think of your teen. (my elder one is cricketer, my second one engineer, my little one manager)
- Ask around your family members and get their inputs. (do not forget the younger ones. They are totally unbiased and yet very truthful).
- What is the career your teen is talking about?
- Why do you feel your teen is talking about that career?
You might be interested in reading the below mentioned topics…
- Self confidence
- Mental wellbeing
How to narrow down on career choices
I have outlined the 10 steps that I have followed for each of my teen when it came to having a discussion on career choices for them…
I hope this will also help you in your journey to help your teen make a career choice
- Make yourself comfortable with no disturbance.
- Pick a pen and paper. Write your teen’s name on top.
- Answer honestly the questioner given above (pref. the note the first answer that comes to your mind). Do not think too much you will start letting your biases work.
- Read all your answers again and in a different paper start writing the career you feel will fit these criteria.
- You can also give your answers to someone else and ask them to suggest careers based on your reply.
- Make your spouse do the same exercise separately.
- Both of you discuss your answers and career choices you have written.
- Make your teenager also do this process and set time to discuss.
- This way all of you have some time to prepare on the topic, think and pondered and well equipped to discuss on the topic.
- Have an open-minded family discussion on the topic.
Note: When you are discussing career do not bring in limitations on to the table in the initial round of talks. All that can be brainstormed, overcome, or worked out.
Ways to Help your Teenager Choose a Career.
Below we have outlined the ways in which you can help your teen make a career choice.
Ask them what they want
Start your journey to help your teen make a career choice by simply asking them.
As a parent, you should be knowledgeable about your teenager. You must have knowledge about their strength and weakness.
Since you are the one who raise them having knowledge about their likes and dislike should be given.
Career choice is one of the biggest decisions a teenager can make. They must put enough thoughts about it. Listing all the pros and cons and their like and dislike.
Teenagers have a lot of doubts. Sometimes they are unsure about what to choose and when to decide. They are not sure because they are afraid to create a huge decision. So, your guidance is important.
Ask your teenager about any topic regarding career choice. Ask them if they already had an ideal decision in mind.
Remember to keep your question light because what you want is too help your teenager and not to complicate things.
Start a conversation about career choice then, let your teenager speak for herself/himself. Let him/her list down the reason why she/he wanted to pursue that career.
If ever your teenager has doubt and still unsure what to pursue, you may share some experience about your own career choice.
Tell them how you have decided about it. And tell them some recommendations that you think is appropriate for your teenager.
You can only give recommendation. It is not mandatory for them to choose your recommendation.
After all you want your teenager to have “right career choice” and what makes right decision is, if the person is genuinely happy about it.
In a career choice, teenagers always need someone that they can rely on. You should be their main source of foundation. Keep in mind to support your teenager in any decisions that they may choose. As I have said earlier career choice is a big decision for them.
Always look in the bright side of things. If your teenager comes up with a decision no matter how hard it is, be sure to be the first person to support them.
Encourage them that they can do it and it is something that they can do.
Helping your teenager in career choice is guiding them. You are not the one that will decide for their future.
So, the best way to help them in terms of career choice is to support them. Give them wisdom and strength to pursue the things that they like.
In any case that your teenager is unsure about their choice, Give them information about it.
Share your knowledge about a certain profession that they want to pursue. The more information your teenager has the more they can come up with right career choice.
Engage them by providing opportunity
Engage your teen in that career environment. Engaging means letting them have experience their career choice.
Let them participate in some social activities related to their career choice.
Take them to a university that offers the career that they wanted to pursue. This means giving them opportunity to learn on their own.
This will let them see the pros and cons of their decisions. They will realize what is going to happen to them for the next year in their life.
Taking them to university or colleges can also give chance to your teenager to connect with people that has the same interest.
They can socialize with people that can share some knowledge about a certain profession.
They can talk to some senior students with the same course and they can learn from it. This will help you to help your teen make a career choice.
Your teenager now can decide for themselves. They just need enough basis or knowledge before deciding on things. So, make sure to open opportunity for engagement.
Help your teenager visualize
You can help your teen visualize how their career choice would look by introducing them to people who are in the same career.
This will make then get firsthand information on the day to day routine, challenges, highs, and lows etc…
Make you teen visualize them doing that. Ask them hypothetical questions and make them give you their answers.
Questions like when you are a cricketer what is that you will do every day? Will you be happy doing it for 40 yrs. Every single day.
Play the devils advocate and ask them why they would want to do it. Why would they want to wake up everyday at 5 Am and practice and practice and practice…? See how they can visualize and defend their stand.
In my experience I have had some of the most convincing answers from my teen in such conversations I have had with them.
I was able to see the clarity in their thoughts, the desire to pursue and it gave me the confidence to invest in their passion.
I have also seen that such debates weed out shallow choices.
One of my Example
My second son wanted to do agriculture. He had all these idealistic views of how only agriculture will survive etc… My dad gave him a piece of land and helped him cultivate in that land.
When I had the debate and played the devils advocate with him on agriculture as a challenge, he realized that he would get bored with it soon and cannot do all his life. He felt it was too slow and nothing interesting.
However, when we had a debate on computers and hardware and robotics (this choice came as the outcome of the questioner mentioned above). He could talk and talk and talk.
He was able to visualize how technology will evolve and he will always have something new to learn and do etc. etc…
It may not be a full outline of a career, but it was good enough to choose his major in higher secondary.
Allow them to freely choose
Helping your teenager in their career choice just simply means guiding them. It means you must provide some information, guidance, and wisdom.
In career choice, let your teenager choose freely. Do not force your opinion on them because their career choices will dictate what life they are going to have.
So, it must be something that they freely choose. Your role is only to guide and help your teen make a career choice. Cause you never know what is budding inside them or what they are destined to do in life.
Career choice is important in life because it will dictate what your teenager will be doing in majority of their life.
It is something that they must really think thoroughly, listing down all the pros and cons and all the possibility.
When they have doubts about career choice because it is something new to them ensure that you are on the side of your teenager. Guide them and help your teen make a career choice which will turn out to be a fulfilling one for them.
Let the have the final word. Give them the roots of responsibility and the wings of freedom.
Remember when you stand with them in their choices and let them use the talent they have. When they blossom to be the truest version of them self. You are showing them the path to greatness and lifelong happiness.
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Let us know the ways you have help your teen make a career choice. Leave your comments below…