We have all grown up with the idea that the ultimate aim of education is to secure our future through an esteemed job. So why is it relevant that our childs career should interest them and fans their passion? A recent survey showed that 60 percent of employees were not satisfied with their jobs while 80 percent were looking to change jobs.
Changing jobs due to various factors is common. Yet, we ideally want our children to select careers that make them happy and leave them feeling content at the end of the day.
As parents, we are often influenced by market trends. Also, we often see children as an extension of ourselves. In both these instances, we may lose focus on our child’s aptitude or skills. We often end up nudging our children towards tried and tested careers like medicine or engineering without taking into account all the opportunities that exist and the skill set our child is displaying.
The first step toward helping your child break all these biases is to let them discover their own strengths and interests.
Here are some tips to help your childs career soar
With technological advancements, career options today range from traditional ones like teaching or medicine, to new-age ones such as robotics, social media management, heritage preservation etc. As a parent, expose your children to early snippets in these areas and see their interest. Also, you can learn a little more about what each of these entails to support your child.
Gauge the skillsets for your childs career
Engaging your children in in extracurricular activities can help you recognize their interests and skill level. The marksheet does not tell the entire story. For example, your child may not be great at science, but may be extremely good at planning and organizing events. Your child could be excelling in areas not covered in the school curriculum. Not all children shine in the same way in a formal classroom setting. Some children may display strong managerial or creative skills outside and this can set base for strong career options.
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Ask questions and encourage children to think of the answers
We often hear children say, “ I want to be a pilot” or “ I want to be a scientist”. Encouragingly probe children on ‘why’ they want to become a pilot or a scientist. What is it that interests them? What do they understand of the career? This will not only make children think for themselves , but also give you an insight into the real triggers or motivators for your childs career. You can accordingly help them build on those motivators and expose them to a wide range of options to choose from.
Strengthen Math and Language Skills
Strong fundamentals of numbers and language are key to strengthening reasoning, logic & critical thinking. Often, a difficult experience in using language leads to falling confidence of public speaking. This may mislead you to believe your child is shy or not interested in a consumer facing vocation. Alternatively, a tough time solving given mathematics may result in a fear of numbers and a child may end up avoiding hobbies that need numerical application, furthering a downward spiral. A strong base in mathematics & language of trade (English) enables a larger variety of vocational options including better readiness for competitive exams in the future.
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Children are also influenced by the environment. They may not know what options are available or they may simply choose an option without understanding what is needed to enable a career in the same. Either of these situations will result in frustration in the long run. We, as parents, should facilitate a wide range of options for children to see, try and even quit in their school going years. Further, we should encourage introspection around the choices being made so all decisions are taken keeping in mind the effort, skill set and expected outcome. Most importantly, we need to allow children to have open discussions, debate with us and eventually make their own career choices for a long and fulfilling career ahead!
“Choose a career you love, and you will never have to go to work”
– Denis Waitley