How to help teens decide their career choice



During childhood, you have witnessed how children’s interests transform with each passing day or event in their life.

One moment they aspire to be a teacher, and the next, they could want to be a singer.

However, as they become adolescents, these children require a guiding force to make big life decisions, ranging from college admissions to career choices.

As a parent or older sibling, you must try to assist them to the best of your abilities and pave a path for their success.

Here are some ways you can help these children decide their career choice:

1. Hear them out and respect their aspirations

Through empathy on your part, you must value your child’s aspirations and remove your preconceived ambitions before guiding them to make the right career choice. Moreover, you must pay heed to their interests both in and out of school and not dismiss them if they don’t align with your interests. Assure your children that they aren’t alone, and you will help them get through this tedious process.

2. Provide them access to aptitude-building opportunities

Not all children determine their interests by themselves. Sometimes, they need an external stimulus to establish what career path truly invigorates them. For that, an aptitude assessment conducted by a qualified psychologist, career fairs, or similar workshops can come in handy. The aptitude test reflects a child’s personality, strengths, and weaknesses, making it a first step in the right direction. Subsequently, meeting with career counsellors and other professionals can also help evaluate one’s options.

3. Conducting research

After gauging your child’s interest, you must become aware of various parameters to shape your child’s future in the field of their interest. From suitable colleges and quality courses to future remuneration and job descriptions, try conducting extensive research through various resources like the internet, appropriate professionals, or family and work resources. Having the correct information is an essential step towards a more fulfilling and well-planned future.

4. Give them a taste of the real-life experience

While a career may seem appealing on paper, the reality can vary considerably. So you must encourage your children to have a first-hand experience of what their career might entail before they pursue it. Try providing them internships, part-time jobs, or work experience in their chosen career field, if possible. They can also shadow a professional to learn what the job requires while honing their aptitude and employability skills. If they don’t feel satisfied with the experience, they can reevaluate their career choices accordingly.

5. Adapt with the times

We have all been submerged in conventional concepts: choosing a career that is prestigious, safer, or brings more money, work isn’t meant to be fulfilling, following your parent’s desires, etcetera. However, it is necessary to do away with this kind of thinking and be more encouraging towards your child’s passion and aptitude. As long as there lays a scope in the future, it is okay if career choices are unconventional. You should not pressurise them or hover above them for everything. Instead, you must provide them the space and time they require because each step they take is a learning experience. While helping your child or younger sibling make their career choices, you must remember that the final decision is their own.

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