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How young is too young to start thinking about your child’s career? During most of the school years both you and your child are probably more concerned about grades, friends, sport and other interests. Career exploration is also an important part of your child’s development and it benefits them to be aware of a multitude of career options as they progress through school.

As a parent you want to give your children the best possible education to ensure that they have good career prospects to choose from.

Parents have a lot of influence in this area of their child’s life, yet many parents don’t know how to guide their children effectively.

Here are just some of the ways parents can help their children make informed career decisions:

Open dialogue

  • Talk to your children positively about jobs that they have seen and what they are about.
  • Children who are encouraged to talk about their ideas and interests are more likely to find and do work they love.
  • Don’t dismiss their ideas. Even if your child’s choice is not one that you approve of, keep the lines of communication open and don’t enforce your career aspirations on them.
  • Help your kids to see themselves in many different environments and professions. Remind your children that they have a lot to offer the world of work.
  • Always encourage your kids to do things that they are passionate about.
    This will give them the edge they need to succeed in their chosen field and will also ensure that they do work that they really enjoy.

Research and explore options

  • It’s a different world out there and parents may not always know the range of career options available and where the future trends lie.
  • The secret to effective career guidance is giving your child as much information as possible, and allowing them to make the decision that best suits their needs, interests and desires.
  • One of the best ways to learn about a particular career is to talk to, or better yet, watch someone actually doing that job. Look for opportunities to bring your teen into the workplace and try and arrange job shadowing opportunities.
  • Help your child understand themselves and where their non-academic strengths lie. Psychometric profiling is an effective means of doing this and provides an element of impartiality – something which is difficult for a parent to achieve. Before your child completes school it is always a good idea to send them for professional career guidance if you can.

Making good career choices is one of the most important decisions that you can make in your life. Help your children to make the best possible choice for their future.