Helping Your Child Make a Career Decision

Doctor. Lawyer. Teacher. Veterinarian.

Chances are, you have a lot of dreams for your child's future. Maybe you hope he'll become an astronaut like he wanted to as a small child. Maybe you want him to take over the family business and be like you. Maybe you even hope your child will simply find a career path that he loves.

No matter how old your child is, it's natural for you to feel concerned over his future job. Whether he asked you for advice or not, there are a few ways you, as a parent, can help him make a career decision he'll love.

Never Undermine Your Child’s Skills

First off, never undermine your child's skills.

If he tells you that he wants to be a baseball player, for example, consider helping him find a way to make it a reality. Could you sign him up for lessons? Maybe you could arrange for him to practice one-on-one with a baseball coach. Additionally, you could help your child look at colleges with strong baseball teams.

Even if you think your child's dream is silly or unattainable, it's important for you to realize that your child needs your support. He'll get enough negative feedback from his peers that he doesn't need it from you, as well. Even if you don't think your child is good enough to make it in his chosen career path, keep those negative thoughts to yourself and try to find ways to help your child succeed.

Conduct Research

It's also important that you help your child conduct research into the best degrees or training programs in his field. If your child wants to be a chef, for instance you could help him look at different culinary schools and colleges with strong baking programs. While you shouldn't do all of your child's research for him, it's important that you help guide him during this time. What type of cooking does he want to do?  How much do these programs cost?  How soon does he want to enter the work force? Answering these questions will help your child find the right program for his goals.

Meet With the Professionals

For kids who have no idea what they want to do, consider meeting with your friends, relatives, or even professionals you know to talk with your child about career options. Your family doctor could chat with your child about going in the medical field, what it takes to survive medical school, and what steps he should be taking now to prepare for such a career.

Additionally, your friends and relatives can talk about their chosen career fields and whether or not they'd recommend such a job choice. If you don't know anyone with professional careers your child is interested in, consider attending a job fair or career day program together to learn more about different jobs.

Remember that no matter what your little one decides to be when he grows up, he'll need your guidance and support along the way. While you can't make all of your child's decisions for him, you can make an effort to help him succeed in whatever he decides to do.

About the Author

Stephanie is a freelance writer who resides in Gilbert, Arizona.  Aside from writing, she also enjoys the outdoors, testing new restaurants and spending time with her family.  You can check out her part-time side project at Howmuchisit.