We all want our children to be successful in life, and that often includes finding a fulfilling career after school.
As your teenager nears high school graduation and considers colleges to attend, it helps to have an idea of the type of career they want to pursue. This knowledge will help them choose a college with a good program in that field and gain valuable experience in internships, extracurricular activities, and college jobs.
Guiding your teenager toward a career requires several steps, but can provide a glimpse into the future so that they can make good, educated choices along the way and land a great first job.
First, find out if your teenager already has ideas about what they want to do after high school or college.
My teen knows their future career
If they already know what they want to do after school, then follow these steps:
Think about how realistic it is for your teenager to attend a school with a strong program in their desired field. For example, if you live in a landlocked state like Colorado and your teen wants to study marine biology, they will likely go to school on a coast. Can your family afford out-of-state tuition? Is your teen emotionally prepared to live far away from family?
My teen doesn’t know their future career
If your teenager doesn’t know what they want to do after high school, start having conversations about their interests to narrow down potential career options.
These questions help your teen learn what they’re looking for in a career so they can explore specific options.
For instance, if your child is an introvert, rule out sales jobs, as they require a thick skin and an outgoing personality. If your child loves video games and has basic coding skills, explore a career in designing video or computer games.
Even after guiding your teenager toward a career, it’s okay if they change their mind or veer off path. Those experiences will ultimately lead them to another job or career. As their parent, you don’t need to push them toward a specific industry or field. Encourage them to consider their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and narrow the list from there. It’s all part of the process of finding their own success.