Career Choice is often a matter of extreme dilemma & differences both for the children and the parents. It becomes hectic and a hefty task all in all to think of this monumental decision if you don’t already have an aspiration and a direction. 

There are various questions that come to mind, when choosing my career, should I chase high income or professional growth? Should I opt for the best institute or the best course? Should I consider market reality or trust my own will? These are some of the very common questions asked by youngsters, all over the country. To resolve this dilemma, often children look for viable and authentic answers from the adults around them.

Eminent Research Studies shows that Personal goals and Parental Support play a key role in determining Successful Career Decisions.

As we know and have discussed many times, there are three key steps for career decision making, parental help and a supportive environment is much warranted in all of these. Let’s discuss how one should go about it. The aforementioned steps are:

  1. Developing self awareness: Knowing the innate potential that one is born with.
  2. Making Informed Decisions: Exploring the world of work and selecting the one that is best for the individual.
  3. Implementing timely Decisions: Taking decisions and acting upon them in a time-bound manner for max results.

How Can Parents Help?

A standardised and a reliable psychometric assessment helps in decoding the student in terms of Inherent Aptitudes and Personality Traits. Read the Report which is the descriptive output of the assessment carefully and look for skills in the report to connect it to the daily activity of the student.

It is important to introspect about your child & acknowledge their unique personality traits and cite some examples from your own experience. Interaction and honest conversation is the key to solving puzzles of personality based decision-making. For example, if she has the highest aptitude for three dimensional thinking (Visual or Spatial aptitude), help her to connect this high-end skill with her problem solving skills in geometry or physics. If she has got alertness as one of the areas of improvement in personality, tell her how this trait makes her commit silly mistakes in her tests and exams and therefore working on the same will assure better results in future. Similarly with regards to the areas in which she is strong, tell her what she has accomplished, learned and explored in that area. Remember, exploring information and providing nuggets of clarity helps the child feel much more confident and supported at home and with the parent. 

Listen for interests

Help your child to evaluate and reach a conclusion about her interest. Analyse if it is a deep interest or a floating one? For example, if she is interested in medicine, ask her some pertinent questions about the kind of life a doctor has, the rigorous work hours that a doctor puts in etc.

Often and more frequently, give your 2 cents, provide information in the careerscapes she is interested in & ask her, what career does she think that you want her to pursue- this will give you an idea about the thought process of your child. Explore what perceptions led to that conclusion which your child just provided you with.

Be honest & Keep your cool! 

Most students don’t know enough about the World of Work to make an informed decision about their career options. Therefore, as a parent it is your responsibility to provide them with adequate information. 

Develop career curiosity

When you watch a movie or come across someone in a certain career role, make it a habit to ask your child for better info and their takeaways: “What do you think it’s like being in that line of work?” This can get pretty annoying if not done right, therefore make sure that you aren’t obsessively persistent with your queries. It is important to make your child comfortable and interactive around you. 

Embrace the information age

Make information available, but don’t push it. Today there are books, articles, websites abound with all the information that one seeks. Provide your child with sources & exposure,as much as you are able to. 

Model good networking skills

If you talk to your friends who talk to their friends, you might be able to find someone who works in the career field your child is interested in. Coach your son or daughter on how to learn from that person and enable your social network as a help network for your  child.

Problem Statement: Many students make good decisions after having proper information & help, but are quite bad at implementing those decisions!

How Parents can help in this scenario?

Blast from your past!

Talk to your son/daughter about how you got a job. Experiential based interactions often provide comfort and relatability to the child.

Remove the mystery!

Talk about your experiences with regards to competitive exams, taking entrances, studying, job hunting etc. Discuss the experiences of your friends or relatives. Talk about how the process has changed in the last few years.

Graduation? Ask Why, first! And then Where or When!

There are many reasons to go for graduation and then for higher studies for specialised knowledge, for prestige, for networking, and sometimes for higher income. Encourage your son or daughter to be a good consumer by choosing a graduate program carefully.

Let your son or daughter know that a higher institute is not a place to hide from the world of work! Ultimately he / she needs to be part of it by working on their own or working in an organisation / Government / institute or any other work place.

Know that your level of information affects your interaction with the child, therefore stay updated and up-to-date with what is happening in the world. Seek exposure for your own self to provide enough information to your child. 

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