Helping our Kids Find the Right Career Fit
by Jeannette Webb
Do your remember this conversation from the book, Alice in Wonderland?
Alice: “Which road should I take?”
The Cheshire Cat: “Where do you want to go?”
Alice: “I don’t know.”
Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which road you take.”
Helping our children determine which road to take can be one of the most challenging things a parent will ever do.
Most parents honestly want to do a good job and we feel the weight of responsibility keenly. We totally understand that God has entrusted this special human being into our care to nurture and guide. But where do we start?
Explore any areas of interest
Even very young children can have dreams of a life work. When they express an interest in something, the wise parent will follow through and help them satisfy their curiosity. We can plan field trips around areas of interest with a behind-the-scenes look at different jobs. We can expose them to many things that pique their inquisitiveness and introduce them to new worlds of work.
Most adults love to talk about themselves and their work. They are flattered when someone is interested and will share all kinds of information. Thus, we must train our children to ask good questions and be interested in many things. This is usually learned through modeling. If you find the world an interesting place, chances are very high that your children will too. As you watch and learn and question, they will learn how to approach others. A great way to train your children in this way is to be hospitable. As people are welcomed into your home, there are all kinds of opportunities to learn about their lives and their careers. A mentoring relationship might just develop!
As students get older, we can encourage them to volunteer in areas of interest. I’ve watched kids volunteer at flower shops, lumberyards, and libraries. They offer to help veterinarians or merchants or politicians. They always learn a great deal about themselves as well as learning about a career field.
In upper high school, I feel it is critical for students to begin job shadowing in earnest. Experience has taught me that students come to decisions more through the process of elimination than any other method. They will try on many things before finding something that makes their heart sing.
Use Assessment Tools
I have searched for years to find an assessment tool that could help young people pinpoint a direction for their lives. Quite honestly, most things out there are not that helpful. However, just recently I was introduced to People Right Careers. They provide an assessment tools that covers all the bases:
Jeannette Webb is founder of Aiming Higher Consultants, a firm dedicated to helping students gain admission to great colleges. She has a heart for assisting parents as they train their children for excellence. Jeannette works to empower famlies to make thoughtful choices for their younger children, to confidently navigate the difficult high school years, and then ace the college admissions process.
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