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How Can You Help Your Kids Make the Right Career Choices?

By Joseph, published on 26/08/2019 Blog > Professional Development > Personal Development > Helping Teens with Career Choices

“The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” – Anthony Robbins

The amount of educational guidance a child gets is often down to their parents and the school they attend and children must make their choices as soon as they can. Career choices and education are a major concern for many parents and they need to talk about them with their children.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can help your child with educational guidance, career planning, and deciding what career they should do.

Helping a Child through Educational Guidance

Adolescence is a complicated time for young people. Between creating their own identity and trying to fit in, it’s a difficult time in everyone’s lives. However, rather than leaving them to get through it, we make teenagers think about their futures and their careers.

How can you provide educational guidance to children? You need to show them the way, but you can’t tell them which path to follow. (Source: albertmt10)

How can you decide what you want to do ten years down the line when everything’s changing so rapidly?

A parent’s job is to help their child into adulthood without controlling them. They need to provide educational guidance as passively as they can. Career exploration is tricky and looking for jobs is even harder if you haven’t thought about what career you want.

Teenagers need to choose what GCSEs they want to do, whether or not they want to do A Levels or a BTEC, for example, and what they want to study at university if they’ve decided to go. More often than not, children start thinking about their futures too late. They won’t get a choice in their education until they’re in Year 9 and Sixth Form.

It’s hard to make these choices if you’re not sure what you want to do. This means it’s a good idea to give them as much information as you can. Showing them the working world will help give them a better idea of what they’d like to do. You need to sow the seeds so that they can blossom into great ideas when the time comes to decide.

Find out more about the cost of educational guidance.

Establishing a Dialogue

Dialogue is important when it comes to educational guidance for your children. This allows you to take into account what your child thinks and also find out more about their strengths and weaknesses. Exam results aren’t the only thing they’ll need to base their decision on since this is what kids probably think you’re doing and not taking into account what they do. Communication is a way to find out what they like, what they want to do, and what they’re passionate about.

How can you talk to children about their futures? While you don’t need to be talking about future careers when they’re very young, by the time they’re teens, you might need to start a dialogue. (Source: finelightarts)

If you don’t know where to start, here are some simple questions you can use to get the ball rolling:

  • What do you see yourself doing later in life?
  • What do you not want to do in later life?
  • What do you like doing when you’re not at school?
  • What are your favourite subjects?
  • What are you good at?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do you talk about with your friends?
  • How long do you want to study for?
  • Do you want to go straight into work?
  • What job do you see yourself doing?

Don’t worry if they don’t know the answers. By asking the questions, you’ll get them thinking about the answers even if they don’t think they’ve given you the response you wanted.

Find self confidence courses with a personal development coach.

Help Your Child by Sharing Your Experience

When you talk to them, don’t forget to share your experience with them. It doesn’t matter what job you do, you can tell your child what it’s like, what you do daily, what your workplace is like, and what you have to do.

What are the best ways to talk to teenagers about their futures? Remind them that your experiences probably won’t be that different from theirs. (Source: StockSnap)

Why not bring them into work one day so they can see it for themselves?

You can share your experience with work and school:

  • How did you get through school?
  • Were you influenced by your parents?
  • Were they involved or not?
  • Did you enjoy school?
  • Do you like your job?

By thinking about this, you’ll be able to better understand the approach to take with your children. Tell them about your fears, trials and tribulations, and show them that everyone goes through it. Remind them of your successes, how you got through certain things, what you found, and how it can take some time.

You can draw parallels with your experiences and what they’re going through and talk to them on their level rather than as their parent. This is also a way to reduce pressure. Your choices aren’t final, after all, you don’t have to stay in the same company your entire career.

There are so many jobs that don’t even exist yet. Neither you nor your children know what tomorrow will bring.

When helping your child with their career choices, make sure you don’t make these mistakes.

Respect Your Child’s Choices

Many of us view the world through “generational glasses”. This means that we see the world in terms of what we grew up with. Some generations had more opportunities for work while others had fewer.

Then there was the recession. Now, a degree or master’s degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a job anymore. Keep this in mind when talking to your child about their future.

Parents play a complex role in their child’s career guidance because they can’t make their child do what they want them to do. What you want for your child may not necessarily be what they want. You want your child’s dreams to come true, not yours. Respect their choices and simply give them the advice that will help them achieve what they want and give them the information they need to make the right decisions.

How Can I Help My Child in their Future Career?

A parent is neither a coach nor a career counsellor, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play some of the roles that a career coach would.

How can you help teenagers with career guidance? Their choices will define their career so make sure you help them as much as you can. (Source: TeroVesalainen)

You have to explain to your child that you trust in their abilities to make the right choices for their future. Just make sure that you don’t stress them out about their future as they’re probably already pretty nervous about it. The world of work is a scary place and before they attend job fairs or career fairs, they might want to have the freedom to think about different career paths.

Once you’ve covered the basics, you can help them get the lay of the land. Show them what the working world is like, the schedules, the deadlines, how a business works, the hierarchy, workmates, etc. You could help them find internships and work experience, for example. Show them how they can find work or direct them to useful sites and resources.

Friends and family could also help them discover other lines of work.

Is your sister a freelancer?

Ask her to explain her job.

Do you know someone who owns their own business?

Something else for your child to learn about. This is a great way for your child to think about work and maybe work out what kind of job they’d like. They might soon have some new career goals.

They could also meet with a career advisor. Academic coaching could help your child understand their strengths and weaknesses through a personality test or a skills appraisal. There are plenty of online career resources that could help them understand the different career pathways, job opportunities, and what they can do after graduation (if they’re going to university), or the jobs and internships available to them after school.

The important thing with educational guidance is to make things clearer, not muddy the waters.

So are you ready to help your child through educational guidance?

Don’t hesitate to get outside help from one of the many talented tutors on Superprof. They could help your teen with thinking about their career options, whether they want to go down an academic or vocational root, putting together a career plan, interview skills, cover letters, a mock interview, etc. There are three types of tutorial available: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.

Face-to-face tutorials are between you and your tutor. As the only student in the class, they’ll benefit from tailored sessions and your tutor’s undivided attention. While these are often the most costly type of private tutorial, they’re also the most cost-effective thanks to how much time the tutor can spend focusing on them.

Online tutorials are similar to face-to-face tutorials in terms of the tutor-student ratio but your tutor won’t be in the room with them. While not ideal for hands-on subjects, online tutorials are great for academic subjects and they’re often cheaper than the face-to-face tutorials since the tutor doesn’t need to factor travel costs into their rates.

Finally, group tutorials are when they’re taught alongside other students in a group. With several students footing the bill, these tutorials often work out cheaper per student per hour. Unfortunately, this all means that they can’t tailor their sessions to them personally as they’ll need to take the other students’ needs, strengths and weaknesses, and goals into account when planning their lessons.


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