It’s strange that society expects kids to decide on their future path in life when they are around twelve to fifteen years old. Schools and teachers ask them to make big, life-changing choices about the type of education they want, and ultimately, the careers they will pursue. A snap decision at age thirteen can determine how forty years of working life will unfold.
Parents, though, don’t always consider these issues in-depth. And they can find it hard to give their kids direction. After all, children themselves don’t always know what they want to do. How could they? They have no experience in the job market or adult life. They might have certain notions in their mind about what they would like to do, but doing the role is outside of their experience (and will continue to be until they get work).
So what’s the solution here? Let’s take a look at some ideas.
Find Out What Kind Of Work Suits Your Child’s Personality
Once a child gets to the age of twelve to fifteen, their personalities are well on their way to being fully formed. Kids begin to exhibit certain archetypes, or ways of approaching the world, which then correlates to the kind of jobs they want to do in the future.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to get your child to do a personality test. You can then find out what sort of roles are best suited to their fundamental personality structure. Then you can help them plan out their education to get there. If you don’t, they could be flying blind and wind up with a job or career they don’t like.
Put Them On Career-Specific Courses
Most schools don’t offer career-specific courses. History class, for instance, doesn’t have much relevance to the workplace.
However, you can give them a flavour of what certain jobs will be like by putting them on summer courses. These short programs introduce children to market-relevant subject matter, such as law, medicine, and business. Professionals who work in these industries often teach kids, and there may be practical assignments. This way, children can get a flavour of the type of work that they might be doing in ten years’ time, once they qualify.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you manage expectations. Working is not the same as learning. But you can give them a general sense of what to expect, and see if they naturally like the task at hand.
Give Them A Mission
Lastly, parents should focus on developing their children’s mission in life. Kids need to feel like they are working towards some project, not just going through the motions of getting an education.
A mission is a statement that describes something transformative that the child wants to do in the world. It doesn’t need to be big, though that helps. It just needs to be a reason for getting out of bed in the morning that doesn’t involve money. It could be making people healthy, creating something new, or being the best at something.
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*This is a collaborative article