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Back Helping Your Child Succeed Help Your Children Explore Their Career Choices

Help Your Children Explore Their Career Choices

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For most parents of high school seniors, their children's career choices are the furthest thing from their mind this time of year. However, the earlier your children start thinking about their future careers, the more time they'll have to explore the many options that are available to them. Below is an overview of the steps associated with career planning:

Step One: Self-Assessment

The first step in the career planning process involves having your child gather information about himself or herself which will be used to assist him or her in making a decision about a career. Your child can explore his or her interests, aptitudes, abilities, personal traits, and desired life style. Your child can start by:

* Learning interests, abilities, skills, and work values
* Listing accomplishments
* Understanding physical and psychological needs
* Assessing aspirations and motivation level

Step Two:  Exploring Career Options

During this step, your child will investigate the world of work in greater depth, and will narrow a general occupational direction into a specific one. He or she will begin to identify potential careers, gather information about those careers, and match the career information with the results from his or her self-assessment.  Have your child start by:  

* Learning academic and career entrance requirements
* Learning related majors and careers to one's interests
* Investigating education and training required
* Learning skills and experience required

Step Three:  Relevant/Practical Experience

After the self-assessment and exploration of career options, your child will begin to evaluate various occupational choices and gain practical experience. This will be done through internships, cooperative education, relevant summer employment, and volunteer work.  At the end of this step, more specific decisions about occupational choices are made. Your child can start by:

* Deciding the type of organization in which to volunteer or work
* Assessing likes and dislikes of work values, skills, work environments, responsibilities, etc.
* Assessing if additional/different coursework or skills are needed for your targeted career goals

Step Four:  Job Search/Academic Preparation

During this stage, your child will conduct a job search, apply to colleges or trade schools, or talk to a military recruiter. He or she can start by:

* Learning how to prepare resume and cover letters,
* Learning how to complete employment applications
* Learning and implementing job search strategies
* Learning and practicing interviewing skills
* Researching colleges or trade schools

By planning ahead, and helping your children focus on their post high school plans now, you can avoid the uncertainty about your children’s career that comes after most graduations.

 

 


Elizabeth Hamilton, M.Ed, MA, is a teacher with 22  years of professional experience. You can write to her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your questions or comments.

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