Most parents today are unaware of the range of career options open to youngsters and many do not even understand the long-term implications for their children’s career. While parents have good and sound intentions in supporting their children at key stages in their academic career, the reality is that in a rapidly changing world, they are not always fully equipped with the knowledge to do so successfully.
In our country the traditional careers that parents want their children to pursue are medicine, engineering, MBA, etc. However in recent times the options that have opened up are simply amazing. Did you know that you can make a good packet by tasting tea or get a degree in puppetry or pet grooming? Some of the courses that are on offer in colleges in the country include Bachelor of Rural Studies, Forensic Science, Food Technology, Finance, Aviation, Journalism and Mass Communication, Hotel Management, Fashion Designing, Jewellery Design, Textile Design and many more.
A few tips for parents on how to support their children with their career choices:
Remember it’s a changing world – The career options that exist today were not available ten years ago and factors like character, persistence, ability to cope with failure, to make connections and to think critically are given a lot of importance. To find out the scope of the career your child is interested in, go online and talk to people in the field. These will definitely give you some idea of what to expect.
Encourage individuality – Don’t pressure your child to realise your unfulfilled ambitions. They are not you and may not have the qualities or aptitude required for the career you have in mind. Be realistic about your child’s strengths and seek guidance from the school or professional counsellors to identify appropriate routes. Your children need to be given freedom and space to live their own life.
Keep an open mind – There are myriad options today for breaking into different sectors. Maybe an internship is better than completing a degree in a particular field. As a parent you will have to do some online work to be better informed and help your child.
Encourage networking – A rich and varied CV can attract an employer besides having a standard degree. Encourage your children to get work experience, take up volunteering jobs or simply speak with people already working in a sector that they’re interested in. It may be that your own professional and social networks can come in handy here.
Be prepared to let go – As a parent you have to maintain a fine balance between giving advice and supporting your children and resisting the urge to take over and organise everything for them. Teach them to be independent and this will enable them to cope when the time comes. Be there for them just don’t completely take over.