Parents need to be more than just an ‘authority’ figure to their children if they want their kids to succeed. They need to be their kids’ friend and mentor, guiding them to choose the right career for them, which is crucial for their future and well-being. After all, younger individuals tend to be more indecisive, where 80% of college students in the United States alone change their major at least once—and choosing one, let alone changing it multiple times, can be stressful for a young mind.
To ensure your children follow a bright and successful career path, here are seven ways you can help.
Help Your Child Discover Their Passion
It’s best to encourage your children to visit career counselors and take different tests, ranging from Myers-Briggs to the Holland Code. However, don’t make these your sole basis and let them act as a guide—and if you see your child becoming interested in a career that doesn’t ‘line up’ with their skills and natural strength, don’t rule it out. Instead, see how you can bring their innate strengths to that career. For instance, if they show interest in becoming a baker, stock up your kitchen with necessities like desert salt, flour, eggs, and other confectionery items and teach them how to bake—and move on from there.
Don’t Force the Issue
When encouraging your child about a particular career, never make it a ‘forced conversation.’ That’s because being forceful can lead to your child losing interest and disengage altogether. Forcing kids can pressure them into making decisions they don’t like and lead to a bumpy career path down the line. So, to keep your child on the right track, don’t force your beliefs and other issues on them and actively see what they’re interested in and start from there.
Expose Your Child to Different Activities
Give your kid a chance to try out different activities, whether it’s exposing them to nature, science, animals, travel, and other people—there are so many chances to enjoy together. When doing this, see what piques their interest the most and encourage them to explore that particular topic more. That’s because choosing a specific line of work comes as people continue to dive into their interests more.
Find Your Tribe and Encourage Your Child to Find Theirs
As an adult, you’ve likely built a ‘tribe’ of great individuals around you—and as a parent, it’s your job to encourage your child to do the same. Challenge your kids to slowly get out of their comfort zones and get involved with their surroundings. Whether it’s playing sports, volunteering in service organizations, or running a business club, encourage your children to spend time with inspiring peers.
Who your kid selects to hang out with can significantly affect how big they dream, what they think is possible, the opportunities they tackle—and having a fantastic of like-minded individuals in their life can help them grow into their full potential.
Set a Great Example to Them
Although you may not notice it, your child watches your every move. That’s why it’s best if you work on setting a great example of doing the work you genuinely enjoy. When your children see you building a career that you love, they’ll know they can find and do something they like. After all, nobody’s too old to spend more time doing what they love, so seek what you love and do more of it to inspire your kids to do the same and thrive.
Be Patient and Encouraging
It’s best to remind your children that the quest to do the job they like is usually a long and tedious process, including self-discovery and experimenting. They may change courses as they navigate their careers, so be patient with them during challenging decisions and encourage them along the way to keep learning more about themselves and grow.
Don’t Treat Your Child as Your ‘Extension’
Although your child is your offspring, remember that they are a unique individual—and they aren’t you. The things you don’t have any particular interest in can be something they genuinely love doing, and vice versa. So, to ensure your child follows a career path that promises a prosperous future while ensuring their happiness, resist the urge to restrict your child from avoiding specific careers just because it’s something you don’t like.
It’s never too early to begin talking to your child about career choices. Even the most driven individuals need external motivation, and as a parent, there are numerous things you can do to show your support throughout the process. Besides showing your love and support, double as a trusted mentor to guide your child—and the strategies mentioned can help you achieve just that. Just remember, finding the right career path will take time and structure.