As a parent, one of the greatest gift you can give your child is guidance in choosing a career that is right for them. There are many ways how you can help you child narrow down their choices and make the best decisions - and give them a strategic edge. Here are two of the most important steps you can encourage your child to take to find their best career fit.

  • Identify their innate talents and abilities, and be able to express them. As a student your child will probably not have the experience and self awareness to identify their natural inclinations. An aptitude test might help your child understand their interests and abilities here.
  • Determine the career(s) that will allow them to best use their talent and abilities. One way to do this is to hire a career coach who will get to know your child and their history, experiences, interests, values, goals, challenges, concerns and perceptions. A career coach can guide your child and offer options of career(s) that will be the best fit for them.
  • There are some common parenting pitfalls that one tends to make in their attempt to guide their child to a successful career

  • Driving your own agenda - many parents become set on a particular career for their child, sometimes driven by the dreams of their child following in their own footsteps, fulfilling their unmet aspirations or achieving their vision of success. These reasons prevent parents from being open to considering other careers that better align with their child’s innate abilities, talents and aptitude.
  • Believing that passion = career fit - as a parent it is easy to get swayed when you see your child very passionate about something they feel is so right. sometimes , however their passions don’t align with their talents and abilities. Many people, including adults ( and there are too many ) have an unrealistic view of what various professions entail. That’s why it is very important to do research first.
  • Assuming that getting into the ‘right’ college will mean a successful career - most parents will give their children a pat on their back if they are choosing the top colleges for their studies. They forget to analyse that no matter how good the college is, if your child is not suitable for that particular course then they will not be happy with their career later in life. It is of utmost importance that parents guide their children to devote time and energy in choosing the right career first.
  • Taking the hands - off approach - as you prepare to send your child off to college and beyond, don’t assume that this is ‘their journey’ and remove all support and advice. Your child needs you now too but in a different way, than what they used to need when they were younger. Keep in mind that the adolescent brain continues to develop through the early 20s, and the portion responsible for long term planning is one of the last to mature.
  • Making the wrong career choice is a preventable mistake!