How to Help Your Teen Make a Career Choice
Help Your Teen Make a Career Choice: The job and the life that you have right now came from the decisions that you have taken in the past.
These decisions led to becoming good parents, a good citizen, and a successful individual. One of the most important decisions that you have taken in life is career choice, right?
And let me guess what you felt back then.
Back then, you would have been confused to decide what career you are going to pursue, you list down all the possible pros and cons before making the choice. Also, you would have asked for advice from your friends, classmates and of course to your parents to know their perspectives.
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 couls also be having a hard time and a lot of questions so that they can make the right career choice.
I’m sure, they are confused and feel challenged about this, because this is one of the most important decisions a teenager has to make.
So, your guidance is important for them especially during this crucial time.
But what can you do for your teenager to make the right career choice in life? How can you as parents help your teen make a career choice?
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; the term “career choice” refers to an action of choosing a career or a profession that someone will take. Basically, it is decision making while choosing a job or a work.
It will dictate the kind of workplace that your teenager will have after they have graduated from college.
For example, their career choice is to be a lawyer. Your teen will have to enroll in a college which offers law degree related courses, and then at some point in the future they will have to work along with a lawyer.
They will be in court, performing the duties of a lawyer, such as: defending their clients, interpreting laws for businesses and individuals and giving advice for legal matters.
So, a career choice will decide where your teenager will spend huge amounts of time in the future. This means, career choice for your teenager is something that you need to pay attention to.
How important is a career choice? Does it make any difference if your son or daughter pursues 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 if your teen makes a career choice that is right for them:
If, you love and like the kind of work that you are doing it will have positive effects. One of the positive effects is being productive. Same way in choosing a career, the more your teen loves it, the more productive they will become.
Proper career choice will help your teenager to be less stressed in the future. It will make them mentally healthy and keep them away from anxiety and depression.
The more your teen loves what they are doing the better it is for their health. Proper career choice can grant a lot of health benefits, as it will help them enjoy what they do. It will keep them happy and they will be successful in what they do.
A well thought out career choice will secure the future of your teen financially. Correct career choice can help them earn huge profits while doing the things that they truly love.
Positivity is important to help your teen excel in any work situation. But, choosing the right career can make your teenager positive throughout their career.
Motivated and inspired
Proper career choice can help your teenager stay motivated and inspired in the work place no matter how hard the circumstances are.
Proper career choice is equal to career growth. If, your teenager is allowed to choose the profession that they truly like and enjoy there is a huge tendency that they will choose to pursue even further.
What are the effects of a poor career choice?
There are some negative effects if your teenager is made to choose a career that they do not really want or like.
These are the negative effects:
- Financial problems
We spend a major part of our lives in the career we choose for ourselves. Therefore, guiding our teens 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.
I hope you understand now why it is important to help your teen make a career choice that they truly are happy about.
You might be interested to browse through some of our teen related topics from the given link -> Parental challenges while 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 that it is the dish that they are going to make in their lives. 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 a dish.
Many activities give you pleasure. They are not necessarily 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.
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 an amazing dish.
Questionnaire to spot your teen’s God given talent
I have outlined 15 points below. These are the questions I ask my teens or people who come to me for career advice, to get an idea of the talent the person possesses. This might help you help your teen make a career choice that is good 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 does your teen usually participate 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 choose 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 chore? Why do they like doing it?
- What makes your teen different from other children?
- Tell the first career that comes to your mind when you think of your teen. (my elder one is a cricketer, my second one, an engineer and my little one, a manager)
- Ask around to your family members and get their inputs. (do not forget the younger ones. They are totally unbiased and 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…
- How to develop self-confidence in your teenager
- How to Train you teenager to be smart
- How to influence your teenager’s mental well-being
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.
- Prepare yourself for the conversation. Make yourself comfortable in place where no one will disturb you and there is no distraction.
- Pick up a pen and paper. Write your teen’s name on top.
- Answer honestly the questioner given above (pref. note down 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 careers 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. You would have contemplated and pondered and would be 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 know your teenager’s preferences. You must have knowledge about their strengths and weaknesses.
Career choice is one of the biggest decisions a teenager has to make. They must put enough thought into it by listing all the pros and cons and their likes and dislikes.
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 handle a huge decision. So, your guidance is important.
Probe by asking your teenager questions regarding their career choice. Ask them if they already have an ideal decision in mind.
Remember to keep your question light because what you want is to help your teenager decide and not to complicate things or decide for them.
Start a conversation about career choice, let your teenager speak for herself/himself. Let him/her list down the reasons why she/he wants to pursue that career.
If your teenager has doubts and is still unsure what to pursue, you may share your experience about your own career choice.
Tell them how you had decided. And give them some suggestions that you think are appropriate for them.
You can only give suggestions. It is not mandatory for them to follow your suggestion.
After all you want your teenager to have the “right career choice” and what makes it the right decision is, if the person is genuinely happy about it.
In a career choice, teenagers always need someone that they can rely on. Keep in mind to support your teenager in any decisions that they may make. As I have said earlier career choice is a big decision for them.
Always look at 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 saying that they can do it and it is something that they can do.
Helping your teenager making a 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 the 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 universities or colleges can also give them a chance to connect with people who share similiar interests.
They can socialize with people who can share some knowledge about the profession.
They can talk to some senior students who are doing the same course and they can learn from it. This will help you 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 work in the same field.
This will help them get first hand information on the everyday routine, challenges, highs, and lows.
Make your teen visualize that routine for themeselves. Ask them hypothetical questions to help them give it a deeper thought.
Questions like when you are a cricketer what will your routine be like 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 if they are able to defend their stand.
In my experience I have had some of the most convincing answers from my teens in similiar 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.
An example from my journey
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 devil’s advocate with him on agriculture as a challenge, he realized that he would get bored with it soon and cannot do it 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 questionnaire 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.
It may not be a full outline of a career, but it was good enough to help him 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.
While making a career 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. And how successful they are is not just measured by how much money they make out of it, but by how happy they are with what they do.
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.
Video Time: Tips for parents how they can help in career choice
Career choice is important in life because it will dictate what your teenager will be doing for the rest of their lives.
It is something that they must really think thoroughly, listing down all the pros and cons and all the possibilities.
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 them 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, they will blossom to be the truest version of themselves. You are showing them the path to greatness and lifelong happiness.
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Let us know the ways in which you have helped your teen make a career choice. Leave your comments below…
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