The path to an ideal career is a tough one and not many students know how to go about making that decision. Even with great systems in place, some students still find themselves with no concrete plans as they approach graduation. Maybe they didn’t take career education seriously when it was offered, or their needs and preferences have changed. Maybe the guidance counsellor who could have helped them was overburdened with work. Or maybe they would just rather explore on their own.
Whatever the case may be, the decision of a career choice still belongs to the student and it is only wise that you act as an advisor and guide through each step in the right career path.
In the book “Career Guidance: The three-step resource for parents” by Phiona Martin an industrial psychologist, she referred to students as learners and outlined a list of skills and abilities that will help you to engage the learner on the career journey.
- Listening: you will need to be patient and try to avoid correcting your learner, or coming across as if you know what is best for them, regardless of how you feel about a matter (although you probably do know them well). Do not rush into solutions, allow the learner to lead the conversations, and try not to impose your opinion. Allow the learner to arrive at their conclusions, you can question the learner when you feel the need to, especially if you feel there is more to explore or think about on a particular issue.
- Guiding: make suggestions and offer advice, but do not force the learner into anything as this may push them away. They may potentially not buy into a conclusion/decision that they feel is not their own.
- Questioning: ask good, non-leading questions that will help your learner to clarify any uncertain issues without feeling pressured towards a particular decision.
- Linking Ideas: help the learner to see links between their skills, interests, values, and desired career path – constantly refer to themes/topics that you feel are recurring or connected.
- Encouraging: let the learner know that you are there to support and help them in whatever way they need.
Download Phiona Martin free Career Guidance eBook (Click Here)
Here are 6 best steps to guide you in helping your child choose a career path;
- Help your child to identify their skills and interests.
- Get your child to answer questions like “who am I?” “What am I interested in?” “what do I love doing?”.
- Let your child take a career aptitude test or consult an Industrial/Career psychologist.
- Introduce them to Professionals in the career of their choice.
- Allow your ward to gain experience through an internship.
- Ensure you start early to have a career conversation with your child.
Realize that you are not alone, when it comes to helping your students discover a career path, there are teachers, career professionals, and counsellors who are trained to give the best advice. Sometimes your child may need a bit of guidance and a push to learn more about themselves and discover newer opportunities.