The day will come when your child will have to decide on their career path. This day usually happens near the end of high school, right before entering college. But the decision is ultimately being culminated since they’ve found their likes and interest earlier on. As their parent who has seen how they’ve grown through the years, your guidance will be essential once your child comes asks for advice about this life-changing decision.
But many parents tend to complicate things more by putting added pressure on their child’s shoulders with unrealistic expectations. You’ve also been a child once and have been in that position before. So you might have also known the stress that came with your parents’ unguided advice. To help you make things easier for your child, here are some tips that you can follow.
Ask, but Don’t Push
Before giving any advice to your child, you first have to know if they need your words in the first place. You must know many things about your child, meaning that you should also see if they are stressing over the decision-making process and requires your guidance.
Some students have already made up their minds on the career paths that they will take and might ask for little to no advice from you at all. Some will come up to you and bluntly ask for your opinion, to which you should follow the following steps. But some might be hesitant to ask, so try to reassure them that there are people around them whom they can talk to about these things.
Don’t Treat Them as the Second You
This is one of the biggest worries of a child who is about to step into college. Because some parents will push specific careers onto their children, students might be scared to talk to you about it.
They do not want you to force them into something they don’t want. Your children don’t want to follow your dreams; they want to follow theirs. You might already know this, but it is important to reiterate because it is so easy to use your authority as parents to command their wants and needs.
Look at Their Hobbies, Interests, and Strengths
One good piece of advice to give them is to follow their heart. Whatever activities they enjoy doing, they can surely pursue a career out of it. Their hobbies and interests might be a good starting point to finding a compromise between fun and practicality. You also need to bring up their strengths and skills because if you are good at something, it can be worth practicing further and making a profit from in the future.\
Act as a Guide to Real-world Problems
As the older figure, you will know a lot about the real world and give them concrete advice from your experience. You should not discourage them from doing something just because you had a bad experience in a similar situation. After all, the world constantly changes, and things might be different now. But you have to be the realist who pulls them back to the ground if their heads are in the clouds.
Talk to them about the salary in a specific job, how diverse one field can be, or how long it might take to study for one profession. Help them find the options. Suppose they want to enter a career in law. You’ll need to help them qualify for their preferred school. Or suppose their calling is to help save lives. You can take them to colleges and universities with an excellent nursing programs. After that, help them weigh their wants and preferences. But before doing this, do your research to make sure you only rely on facts and not outdated or baseless information.
Seek Help from Other More Qualified People
If you don’t feel like you can give good advice, you can reach out for help from other people. For one, their teachers will have observed them during classes and have seen what your child is capable of doing. The school counselor is another person trained to help students surpass different challenges.
Support Their Decision
Lastly, you should be supportive of whatever they choose to do in the end. Even if this career is known not to earn a good profit or a low passing rate, always keep a positive outlook and trust your child’s abilities. If they have already made up their mind, be there to support them throughout the process. And even if they find that this decision was a mistake, assure them that they can do anything they set their minds into. Changing careers midway is still a viable option and is nothing to be ashamed of.
With this, you should give good advice once your kid asks for your opinion while choosing a career. Just be patient because they will eventually figure things out. Don’t be too involved that you start making decisions for them. Let them decide for themselves because experience is the best teacher.