Kick-starting career conversations with your child isn’t easy. No matter their age, you never want to appear imposing, insensitive, or overbearing. You want to get it right. So, it’s tough, especially if you don’t know the right things to say.
When is the right time to talk about career choices with your child? How do you help them make the best choices, and most importantly, how do you start the conversation in the first place?
In this article, you’ll find four effective ways to start career conversations with your child.
Let’s dive in.
4 best ways to start career conversations with your child
Adopting the right strategies will help you have productive conversations with your kid, understand their interests, and direct them on the right path. Here are the top ways to begin a career conversation with your child.
1. Start early
Most parents consider career discussions “adult talk.” So, they wait until their kids finish high school and prepare for college before initiating career discussions. For instance, a survey reveals only 6% of respondents said their parents started talking to them about careers when they were five or younger. However, 35% say the conversations didn’t come up till they were 16 or older.
Starting career discussions early is an excellent way to gain insights into kids’ strengths and interests. Identifying this early allows you to create opportunities for your child to enhance their strengths and prepare them for a career path that aligns with their interests.
For example, if you notice your child is better inclined to arts, you can expose them to art resources and training to fuel their passions. In addition, early discussions allow you to set your child on the right career path, preventing you from introducing activities and professions your child isn’t passionate about.
2. Ask open-ended questions
Getting the most out of career discussions with your child requires you to keep the conversation going—long enough to get them interested in talking to you about it. If you ask yes or no questions, a yes, or no answer is what you’ll get, and it doesn’t do much.
So, instead of asking your child if they have a career goal, try open-ended questions like “what’s most interesting about your favorite subject or sport?” “When you think about career and profession, what comes to mind?”
Questions like these pique your kids’ interests and get them to talk. This gives you a glimpse of where their passion lies and the type of career they have in mind. So, you can work with this information to help them make the right career decision.
3. Discuss deal breakers
Discussing your child’s deal breakers is as critical as identifying their interests. When you know the activities they prefer not to do, you can avoid presenting career options around them. So, when discussing career conversations with your child, ask them about the subjects and tasks they struggle with and have little to no interest in. However, note that struggling or having disinterest in an activity doesn’t always mean your kids are unwilling to improve.
So, while a subject may be their weakness, ask your child if they would like to improve or pursue it as a career. Provide the resources and support they need if they want to do better. However, if they have no interest and willingness to improve, avoid imposing it on them.
Encouraging your child to pursue a career in a field they are disinterested in may result in regret and a lack of fulfillment. So, it’s best to steer clear of career options that require your kid to perform responsibilities they dislike.
4. Keep an open mind
You may have your career preferences before discussing the career path your child would like to take. However, it’s best to keep an open mind when listening to your child’s choices. While professions like engineers, lawyers, and doctors are common career paths, they may not be your child’s preference or passion. So, it’s vital to look beyond traditional career choices and help your child pursue what they are genuinely passionate about.
Welcome new and evolving career options, and conduct in-depth research to ensure it’s the perfect fit for your child. Doing this will open your child to an unlimited opportunity to explore their interests and follow a career path they love.
Identify your child’s strengths with Explico
Pinpointing your child’s strength areas can help you guide them on the best career path. Explico is an online learning platform that offers unique AI-based assessment tests to identify students’ weaknesses and strengths. By understanding your child’s unique abilities, you can discover the most suitable career path and assist them in making the right career choices. To get started, visit our platform for more information about our AI assessment.