How to Help Your child Decide on a Future Career

All parents want to give their child good advice, but when it comes to what path they should explore after education and what careers they could pursue, it’s hard to know where to start. 

child studying

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Recognise Their Mindset

The central idea behind a growth mindset is that intelligent and academic ability can be developed and children who have this idea instilled in them will look for opportunities to push themselves, understanding that although they cannot achieve everything immediately, they will get there if they persevere. This is different to a fixed mindset, which is the idea that a child’s intelligence and ability is finite and predetermined. 

As a result of nature, nurture, or a combination of the two, most teens will skew one way or the other, but it is important to know that children with a fixed mindset might be more likely to give up due to unrealistic expectations. They may struggle to reach their full potential.

Develop It

Children are often told they can do anything, but if they don’t have a growth mindset, they might find it hard to deal with challenges they face when they enter the workforce. Help them to prepare for these setbacks, difficult interviews, and rejections letters, and the uncomfortable feelings that come from these, by encouraging them to understand that these don’t mean they’re failing. Tell them about times that you have struggled but survived, or remind them of things that they have already overcome themselves. Teach them to view negative experiences as a chance to learn and grow. The ability to keep going could be what makes the difference for them. 

Think About The Obvious Skills They May Need

If your child already has a specific area of interest that they think that they might like to pursue as a career, work with them to note down what specific skills they might need to do this in the future. These could be academic or non-academic skills. For example, if they plan to get a care certificate, they will need study skills and people skills. Some skills that they will need might be obvious, but a lot of young people don’t feel that they are being taught many important skills that employers look for at school. Help them to build those skills yourself. 

Encourage Them To Think About How To Develop Non-Academic Skills

Employers across all fields look for a wide range of life skills beyond academia. These could range from resilience to problem-solving, leadership to creative thinking, and start getting your child to think about these non-academic skills and how they can develop them. Work together to decide on what skills might be most important for entry-level career candidates in the future careers, such as communing through audio and video, rather than writing, for example. They may need to work with people from a range of ages and backgrounds. Look for ways for them to build those skills, such as evening classes, sports teams, or volunteering after school. 

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