Career decisions: The role parents play

January 2, 2013,
Career decisions: The role parents play

When choosing my career, should I chase high income or professional growth? Should I take the best institute or the best course? Should I consider market reality or what I can do well? These are some of the very common questions asked by youngsters across the country. To resolve it, they look for viable and authentic answer from the adults around them.

Important surveys conducted around the world show that personal goal and parental support play a key role in determining successful career decisions.

As we know there are three key steps for career decision making and parental help is much warranted in all of these. Lets’ discuss how one should go about it. The steps are:

  1. Developing self awareness: Knowing the potential that one is born with.
  2. Making informed decision: Exploring the world of work and selecting the one that is best for the individual.
  3. Implementing timely: Taking decision and acting on it.


How Parents can help

Help your son/daughter to take a reliable psychometric assessment

A standardized and reliable psychometric assessment helps in decoding the student in terms of Inherent Aptitudes and Personality Traits. Read the Report or the output of the assessment carefully and look for skills in the report and connect it to the daily activity of the student. Acknowledge the personality traits and site some examples from your own experience. For example if she has got highest aptitude for three dimensional thinking (Visual or Spatial aptitude), help her to connect that with her problem solving skills in geometry of physics. If she has got alertness as one of the improvement area in personality tell her that how this trait makes her commit silly mistakes in her tests and exams.

Similarly for the areas in which she is strong, tell her what she has accomplished, learned and explored in that area.

Listen for interests

Help her to evaluate and reach to a conclusion about her interest. Is it a deeper interest or a floating one? Example: if she is interested in medicine, ask her some pertinent questions about the daily activity that a surgeon does.

Ask her, what career does she think that you want her to pursue?

Be honest! Keep your cool! Explore what perceptions led to that conclusion.

Most students don’t know enough about the World of Work to make an informed decision about their career options.

How Parents can help

Develop career curiosity

When you watch a movie or come across someone in a certain career role, ask: "What do you think it’s like being in that line of work?"

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.

Model good networking skills

If you talk to your friends who talk to their friends, you might be able find someone who works in the career field your student is interested. Coach your son or daughter on how to learn from that person.

Action Plan: Many students take good decision after knowing them fully but are quite bad in implementation!!

How Parents can help

Blast from your past!

Talk to your son/daughter how you got in job.

Remove the mystery!

Talk about your experiences with passing the entrance, 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 study for specialized 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 higher institute is not a place to hide from the world of work! Ultimately he / she needs to be part of it by working of their own or working in an organization / Government / institute or any other work place.



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