Choosing a career in high school is a major milestone. Even though some students feel pressured when asked about the future, it’s important to give it a thought as they consider what college to attend, what to study, and ultimately what they want to do with their lives. This intimidating decision is not easy for all students to make. Whether your teen has to write a career paper or is trying to decide what their next step in life, these tips will help.
1. Remember That Your Child is Not an Extension of You
There are a lot of families where children are expected to take over the ‘family business.’ This can be anything from managing a restaurant to becoming a doctor or lawyer. It is okay if a child is interested in something and wants to follow in their parents’ footsteps. However, if they are pushed into it, they might resent the job field or even you for pushing the idea on them. You should treat your high schooler as an individual and help them explore their passions.
2. Give Them the Freedom to Decide
There are countless law and medical students that got into the field for all the wrong reasons. It is natural for parents to push their kids to be successful. However, when parents push too hard, students might feel obligated to try a more difficult, less fulfilling path. It’s important that a career fulfills a child’s interest. Otherwise, it is going to be hard to commit to a difficult curriculum. It is also important for future job success and overall happiness, as people are generally happier when they enjoy what they do for a living.
3. Guide Them in Taking Practical Steps
Many parents think it’s cute when their child aspires to be a singer or the president. Career fields like these still have a distinct path to take. For example, a student who wants to be a singer might be involved in choir or performing, while a student that wants to be president might get involved in leadership roles or school politics. Having experience is one of the most important things in career fields like these. By getting the right extracurricular activities under their belts, students look better on applications and are more likely to be accepted to schools and clubs that help them reach their goals.
4. Consider Aptitude Testing
Aptitude testing is a list of questions. This career paper can help your student decide what possible job fields could be a fit. Basically, it tests a student’s natural ability and personality type, then pairs it with the careers that are the best fit. Your child isn’t limited to the careers listed either; however, it can help them start thinking in the right direction about what they want after graduating high school.
5. Find Out About Job Shadowing
In some career fields, it might be best to let your teen job shadow somebody in that profession. Basically, they’ll follow around someone in the career of their choice and get a personal experience of what that career is like. Then, they can decide if it might be a good fit or if they want to explore someone else. This offers an up-close-and-personal experience that your student won’t get reading about a career.
6. Encourage Your Student to Explore Their Passions
Your high schooler’s passions might encourage them to explore different career fields. A student interested in art might choose to study graphic design or other marketing tools that they could use to design websites as a career. A student interested in debate or leading might want a career as an entrepreneur or a politician. By exploring different career fields related to your student’s passions, they will be more likely to find a career that fulfills them.
7. Expose Your Child to a Wide Variety of Activities
Sometimes, your students might not have a clear picture of what they really enjoy. In this case, the best thing to do is give them the chance to explore different activities. Encourage them to debate and explore the humanities through joining band, choir, or the drama club. Push them to try different sports in bellevue or involve themselves with activities in the communities. If your child is not exposed to a variety of activities, they might limit themselves when they are looking at choices for their future career paths.
Keep in mind that the right approach is going to make it easier for your high schooler to think about the future instead of more difficult. Do not apply too much pressure—choosing a career path is not something that should be taken lightly. Of course, it’s important that you support your teen in their decision too. After all, you do want them to at least enjoy what they are going to be doing for the rest of their life.
More on this topic: 10 Tech Tools to Engage Students and Enhance Productivity