The Role of Parents in Choosing a Career
How to choose a profession? This is one of the most important questions that every high school student will have to answer. It is quite natural that parents consider it their duty to help the child decide on his/her future profession. How can you give your teen really helpful advice? Today, Burlington YMCA Careers gives useful advice.
First, let’s find out what a teenager is guided by when choosing a career in order to protect him/her from unnecessary or wrong steps. Most often, the following factors influence the child’s decision:
- Professional dynasty. In general, the desire to continue the professional traditions of your family is a worthy choice. But the fact is that there are professions that require a certain mindset, some kind of personal qualities or excellent health. And if, for example, a child, having no ear for music, decided to become a musician, like a mother, then disappointment in the chosen career will come very soon;
- High salary. This is the most frequent and erroneous landmark. Teenagers are sure that it is enough to get a university diploma and they will get high earnings right away. But big salaries are the result of experience, qualifications, and certain professional achievements. Young specialists having the necessary personal qualities and a desire to improve will eventually be able to earn decent money. But not immediately;
- The influence of friends. Often teenagers enter a university for the company with their school friends. This factor can be positive only if friends have chosen one profession at school. For example, dreaming of creating new aircraft, they were engaged in aircraft modeling. If the profession is chosen only because the teenager is used to always being close to his/her friend, this choice will not be successful;
- External effect. This factor is often decisive for those teenagers who enjoy being in the spotlight. Seeing the brilliant performances of actors, musicians, showmen or admiring the graceful gait of models on the catwalks, they dream of becoming just as bright, spectacular and famous. However, at the age of 15-16, few people know what titanic work is hidden behind all this outer gloss and ease. And this is in addition to natural talent. When faced with the realities of public professions, most adolescents experience severe disappointment, which often leaves a negative imprint on their entire future life;
- Protest. Often, when choosing a profession, adolescents are guided by the protest and choose either the profession that their parents absolutely do not like or the first one they come across. Obviously, such a choice will not bring a young person either moral satisfaction or financial well-being.
When choosing a career, it’s important to take into account a way of life, a certain environment of communication that affects the character, thoughts, style of behavior, and sometimes on the worldview. True, adolescents do not yet know about this. That is why parents at this moment are simply obliged to be close to the child in order to warn him/her against possible mistakes.
Parenting advice and help
If you know practically nothing about the profession that your child likes, take the time to get as much information as possible about it. Use the Internet, popular science and specialized literature. After studying this issue well, you will not only arouse the respect of your child but you will also be able to open to him/her those facets of the profession that he/she did not even suspect.
Even if you do not like the choice of a son or daughter, you can make serious arguments in favor of your opinion. The main thing here is not to put pressure on him/her with your parental authority, but calmly explain why you are against this choice. In doing so, emphasize that in any case, the decision remains with him/her. And then it is likely that the teenager will heed your advice.
If a graduate is fascinated by the outward splendor of theatrical bohemia or someone’s financial success in business, try to personally introduce him/her to representatives of these professions. You don’t need to specifically look for such dating – just invite your teenager to watch interviews with celebrities on the Internet where they talk about their path to success. Perhaps the teenager will be inspired by these examples and will tune in to long and serious work in the chosen field – which means that he/she made the right choice. And if the difficulties force him/her to abandon this profession, you can congratulate yourself on the fact that you warned your child in time against the wrong choice.
Teenagers tend to trust the opinion of strangers more than their parents – accept this as a fact, without resentment or indignation. If you understand this, you can competently influence the choice of your child, excluding the protest in advance. For example, if a teenager has health problems, and he/she is going to choose a profession that requires serious physical exertion, it is clear that you will strongly oppose such a choice. But your categoricalness is unlikely to benefit – rather, it will cause a counter-protest accompanied by mutual bickering. To avoid quarrels and maintain a good relationship, offer your child a complete medical check-up. And then not you but strangers – doctors – will reasonably make a verdict: this profession is not suitable for your child.
It happens that parents overestimate the abilities of their child and literally force them to enter a prestigious university, not taking into account his desire, character and hobbies. This is the life of your child, not yours!
Fortunately, the child’s dream of his/her future profession does not always contradict the opinion of the parents. But if you liked his/her choice, this does not mean that you should calm down. On the contrary, try to give him/her maximum help in achieving his/her dreams.
This help can be expressed in different ways: it can be psychological, when the child needs moral support before the university entrance exam, or financial, when, for example, it is necessary to pay for preparatory courses. And just being an attentive listener and an interested interlocutor is already serious support for a teenager choosing a profession.
In our time, it is recommended to focus on more than one profession and have a backup option. Youthful maximalism does not allow teenagers to think about it, and parents need to find out what the graduate intends to do if something does not work out. Having a fallback reduces stress and anxiety in a teenager.
Talk to your child about how he/she sees this life in five, ten, twenty years. Dream together, build a plan for his/her future career, tell him/her how you chose your profession and how successful this choice was. Be sure that the child will certainly feel your sincere interest and will willingly share his/her plans with you. And your task is to show him/her the best ways to achieve the goal.