The very idea of career planning discussions provokes anxiety in almost every student. Make a bad choice, and the misery will never end; you can be disappointed in them, life can be wasted, the future is wasted, and on and on.
When facing that kind of pressure, many students find it very difficult to discuss their career questions. Savannah Educational Consultants offers professional Career Counseling and Coaching services that will facilitate the choices that go along with choosing college majors and career paths.
One of the most important concepts that you and your student can embrace is to see career planning as something that unfolds over time; that it is a process, not an event. Your role as a parent becomes one of being an advisor and a sounding board. Here are some tried and true suggestions for helping your student chart a course through these choppy waters.
- Encourage Exploration: Exploration needs to precede choice. There are 25,000 different job titles that span more than 250 careers with more coming and going almost daily. Try to hold off on giving a specific nod of approval too early. Seek out a Career Counselor and Coach for guidance in gathering information.
- Be A Guide: The professional Career Counselor and Coach can guide your student in the exploration process by helping them identify their interests and values. Help them generate a list of the career alternatives that fit these…there could be as many as 50! Then help them choose which career area is the best overall fit for them.
- Support Volunteering: Encourage your student to volunteer or work part time in career related areas to add practical experiences to the decision making process.
- Avoid Advice: Resist the temptation to fall into the parental advice trap…I f I were you I would….This is a sure way to short circuit the exploration process. Instead, use open ended questions and reflect back what you hear them saying. Then they can put it together without that burden of your advice.
Encourage your student to begin exploring career choices. This decision making process can be a powerful learning experience that can help with many of the choices that must be made over a lifetime.
It is only too late if it never starts!