As parents, guiding our teenagers and students towards a part-time job can be a pretty easy task. Usually it’s just a matter of calling up a friend that owns a local deli or shop, or even bringing home a couple of applications from local restaurants. But helping our kids plan for a long-term career can be a rather intimidating task; after all, it’s only their lives that we’re talking about here. So how exactly can parents make sure that they’re guiding their kids in the right direction?
First off, it’s extremely important that parents do everything they can to stay close to their teenagers and understand what really matters to them, especially when it comes to school. That doesn’t just mean checking report cards, either; just because your son or daughter is making straight A’s in school doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t absolutely loathe their calculus class. If your child can’t get passionate about a subject that involves complex math, then maybe a career in accounting or finance isn’t the right direction to push them in.
By contrast, if we see our children doing poorly in school yet excelling when it comes to fixing the family car or repairing personal computers, then perhaps enrolling them in a trade school is the appropriate step to take after grade school is completed. Just because your child doesn’t want to go the route of traditional education doesn’t mean that they can’t work towards a rewarding career by apprenticing for local businesses or taking a more hands-on approach to education and learning.
You also need to understand that even though you’re a parent that’s expected to have all of the answers for your children, sometimes that’s just not possible. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider utilizing outside resources to help your teen determine what is truly a good long-term career to pursue. If your teen is adamant about going to college to be a lawyer or a nurse, then try contacting colleges and universities to set up an appointment for your child to have a sit-down discussion with a campus counselor or career adviser.
If your child would rather pursue a career that doesn’t necessarily require a formal higher education, then try getting in touch with individuals and business owners in the appropriate sector to see if they’ll sit down with your teen to discuss possible career choices. Most local business owners would be more than happy to discuss their career choices, hurdles, successes and failures with teens that are interested in the same line of work. Sometimes the best resources for your teens are the very people that are already working in the sector that they’re interested in.
Helping teenage students plan for long-term career success is a mission that takes years to see to fruition. Ensuring that your teens are doing the best that they can now is imperative, like maintaining good grades and staying ahead of the class while in school. It also takes careful planning years in advance, especially if your child is interested in getting into a college or university that has a competitive acceptance rate. That’s why it’s important for you to help your children plan for their future as much as you possibly can, as well as recognize when certain plans may be over your head and require a little outside assistance. Doing all that you can as a parent to provide your teen with the best resources is the best way to ensure your teenager’s long-term career success.