How to help your child choose a career

Blink, and you’ll miss it.

Before you know it, your child will have gone from a young, nervous little fellow ready to leave their parent’s arms for the first time and go to school – to an independent young individual with their own hopes and dreams after graduating from secondary.

It can be tempting to try and micromanage them, project hopes and dreams that you think are best for them – but remember that they’re not little kids anymore at this stage, but young adults ready to take on the world. Your focus should be on guidance towards a path that they’ll be proud of, not one that you demand.

Here are some tips to help them choose a career path.

1. They aren’t you!

Just because you wanted to be an engineer or a doctor, doesn’t mean that they’ll want the same for themselves. You may of course introduce them to these possibilities, show them what you think of them and say that you believe it’s a great choice.

However, don’t degrade their own choices or forbid them from exploring other options. Even if you don’t approve of their career ideas, or are uninterested in their ideas, as long as they’re viable and valid, they have every right to make that decision.

Indeed, forcing them to take a path they don’t want may well lead to bad performance and resentment.

2. Diversify their interests and environments

At this age, much of your children’s interests and experiences will be governed by where you take them, what you allow them to go to and provide for them. Make the most out of this by ensuring that your child is exposed to a diverse array of interests. By having a lot of knowledge and curiosity of the world, they may well make a better-informed decision about their future careers.

3. Be patient with them

Not everyone will have found themselves by the end of secondary school. In fact, many people in their 30s and 40s are yet to truly find themselves – how can we expect adolescents to do the same?

Be patient with them as they make their choice. You may even consider allowing them a gap year, which has many benefits including exposing your child to new ideas and experiences without the pressure of having to decide on the next stage of their lives.

4. Encourage them to seek counseling

At Swiss International School in Dubai, we have a team of counselors and teachers at our students’ disposal to discuss their objectives and opportunities. These experienced educators will be able to provide advice tailored to students’ aptitudes and personalities, as they seek out what will eventually bring them fulfillment.

To see some testimonials about our counseling team, check out the video below.

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