How to help a child decide on a profession and not spoil his future
To find a life’s work when you are not yet 18 and never regret your decision — such a scenario, although it looks right, is often romantic. We have collected in this article tips for parents who want to help their child and support him in the difficult choice of a professional path. But first, subscribe to our Telegram channel. We often publish such valuable articles!
Teach your child to be independent
You need to start preparing for adulthood from childhood. Teach your child to make informed decisions, be responsible for them, manage time and money wisely, and plan studies, extracurricular activities, and housework. Develop these skills gradually. First, show how to act, correct the nuances, and then outline the child’s total responsibility area. A teenager who cannot pack a bag without a mother will have a hard time at work and in public life.
Don’t try to realize your ambitions
Remember that your child has their path and talents. Consider child opinion, no matter how much you want an Olympic champion to come out of your son and an excellent cellist out of your daughter. Perhaps the cello and medals are just the wishes of mom and dad. And the time stupidly spent on realizing other people’s ambitions will be directly proportional to the number of sessions with a psychologist in the future. It is better to immediately spend it on something that arouses keen interest in the child.
Give your child the opportunity to try different activities
It will help further education. School is the basis, but circles and sections can be an excellent add-on and the first steps into a future profession. Today there is plenty to choose from: robotics, programming, architecture, bioengineering, foreign languages, motion design, and blogging.
Let the child try himself in several areas, and do not scold him when something does not work out. If in the future he decides to change his profession, savvy in several areas radically will help him decide. Knowledge is not extra, and the flexibility of the mind develops only when it is constantly trained.
Do not scare by “bad” professions
Probably, each of us at one time heard the phrase, “If you don’t study, you will become a janitor.” In conversations about the future of the child, give up hostile rhetoric. Your desire for a better life for him should not devalue someone else’s, sometimes hard work. In addition, not every adult can overcome self-doubt under challenging moments and step over the attitudes laid down in childhood. “Anything to keep from sweeping the streets” would be his choice in the end. And he will disappoint, sooner or later.
“You can become whatever you want if you work hard and hard at it” is a perfect phrase to cheer up and motivate a child in moments of crisis and fatigue.
From this age, we recommend you regularly take our career guidance test. You will be able to control your child's temperament, and you will understand what professions he develops a predisposition to.
Understand the job market
Teenagers are prone to maximalism and overly emotional decisions (read How the fear of missing out on the best option prevents us from making decisions). At the same time, the new generation usually intuitively feels the market. Suffice it to recall the 90s, when children secretly from their parents played the first computer games all night long. No one even guessed that soon professional eSports would bring gamers millions.
You must be well versed in existing professions to help your child choose and find a job to their liking. It would help if you did not rely on rumors, the experience of children of relatives, acquaintances, and acquaintances of acquaintances. Look for vacancies on foreign resources, compare incomes, note what skills and competencies are needed for a particular specialty, and think about where it is better to get or improve them. The savvier you are in the market possibilities, the more likely the child will listen to your advice.
Teach your teenager how to make money
Starting from 14, a child can start earning money, for example, in the summer or on vacation. It will help him broaden his horizons and learn how to plan income and expenses. In addition, any job well pumps soft skills, which are increasingly paying attention to large companies when hiring employees. This concept includes punctuality, responsibility, and the ability to interact in a team, solve problems, and get out of crises correctly.
After earning the first money, the child will become more confident in his abilities and can better cope with fears about the future. And also, by posting ads or delivering orders in a cafe, he will get acquainted in practice with the disadvantages of low-skilled labor: a significant expenditure of internal resources, a lack of professional development, and a modest salary.
Show your child the inside
Many professions are too idealized. For example, in films, all lawyers are intelligent, assertive, damn resourceful guys in strict suits who do justice and collect a standing ovation. In existing jurisprudence, there is little pathos. It is detailed, sometimes tedious, paperwork. And justice, in general, is a vague and very subjective concept.
To protect the child from the mismatch of expectations with reality, try to show him some specialties from the inside. Explain what each family member does, how his working day is structured, and how tasks are distributed. If you have an acquaintance with a profession that interests a teenager, ask this person to organize a small internship or master’s class.
Student and first steps in the profession
Understand that retraining is not a tragedy
Deal with it yourself and explain it to the child. Most likely, he will have to change several specializations in his life. And if the university’s first years, it became clear that there would be no success, and the soul does not lie in the chosen direction. Let the student decide for himself what to do next. To finish my studies and try to “fall in love” with the profession, transfer to another faculty, change the educational institution or even drop out of school. An independent child is aware of the consequences that await him in each of the options.
Tell them that getting a degree is just the beginning
The appearance rate of qualitatively new information, even within the framework of one profession, is cosmic. “You must run as fast as possible just to stay where you are.” We are beginning to feel what Lewis Carroll was talking about entirely.
Explain to your child that admission, diploma, and first job are only the beginning of his professional path. To remain a sought-after specialist, he will have to study constantly: take courses in related areas, independently master applied skills and new technologies, practice a lot and improve his competence. The habit of continuously “investing” in your knowledge will significantly help if the child changes his profession radically one day.
Take the Menteora career guidance test; artificial intelligence will name your most suitable professions. The accuracy of the test is 70-80% because we use a mathematical-statistical algorithm (read about Menteora's unique career guidance methodology).