For your student to make wise career decisions, he must explore and investigate many careers. Career exploration should begin around middle school and continue through high school and even into college. As a parent, you need to encourage and help your child explore career options.
Allow your child to explore ideas freely. Avoid saying negative remarks about careers in which your child may be interested. Even if you think your student has unrealistic dreams, you should encourage him to find out more about what the job involves. Along the same lines, don't be overly enthusiastic about any specific career. You don't want your child to choose a career because he thinks that particular career is what you expect.
Find out his likes and dislikes. Have a discussion with your child about favorite class subjects and extracurricular activities. Is he passionate about a certain hobby? Suggest career opportunities that might mesh well with his interests.
Help your student find inspiration. By talking with successful and happy people in a variety of fields, your child will be more motivated to find a career in which he is passionate. Remind him that if he finds a career that he loves, it won't feel like work.
Give your child career books. Give your student books that describe different jobs in various fields. Ask him to read the books and mark careers that sound interesting to him.
Suggest that your student volunteer or intern in different fields. Your child needs to get as much hands-on experience as possible in order to decide if he likes a certain career. Help your student find internship or volunteer opportunities where he can work in a multitude of fields. One month, he can volunteer at a veterinarian clinic and the next month he can intern with a radio station and so forth.
Advise your child to use the Kuder Career Planning System. Appropriate for use by students from middle school to college, the Kuder Career Planning System will help your child select one or more career paths to explore by matching his interests, skills, and work values. Through this system, your child can create and continually access his own career portfolio and update career information as his skills and experience expand. The Kuder Career Planning System is offered in conjunction with a number of state-sponsored programs throughout the United States. If your state is not listed here and you would like your child to utilize the system, please visit kuder.com or call the Kuder Customer Support line at (877) 999-6227 to see if your child has access to the system through his school.
Finding the right career fit is important for a lifetime of happiness. Work with your child on career planning so he can find the right fit for his personality and interests. For more information about career exploration, please read Career Planning: Start Early.