Career Planning may surface at a later stage of adolescence, however, forms a vital part of one’s development. Career has become an important part in every individual’s life, and many times becomes integral to one’s sense of confidence, happiness and contentment in life. Hence, planning a career and making a move towards it in the right direction, is as important an aspect, as any other aspect of life in the adolescent period. Starting early allows the opportunity to set specific goals and work toward completing those goals with a vision and a purpose. This also enhances one’s confidence and personality. There may be several things for adolescents to consider when planning their career path, such as:
Parents play an important role in supporting their adolescents with encouragement and information as they begin their career and life journeys. Evidence supports that when adolescents are in the midst of choosing a career path, it is their parents who have the greatest influence.
Adolescents may need parental guidance in gathering information and assessing how personal characteristics and aspirations fit with specific educational and career possibilities. Adolescents who learn the broader planning and management skills may be better prepared to enter the adult world.
Parents can be a great source of help for adolescents to make the right career choice by:
1. Encouraging their adolescents to discuss their ‘preferred activities’ and asking them what they love about their favorite activities.
2. Asking positive, focused questions that will help the adolescents examine their dreams.
3. Discussing how one’s value system, work ethics, interests, skills and personality link to one’s chosen profession.
4. Helping the adolescent set up some job shadowing or volunteering/interning opportunities in a career of interest.
5. Seeking facilitation from a trained professional regarding career assessment and planning.
Parents can help inspire a personal purpose to enable teens to create rewarding lives. Parents who discuss moral issues, model hope and future-building, and allow questioning, strengthen their adolescent’s sense of purpose, meaning and optimism.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Confucius