In our previous blog, we discussed the significance of Take Our Kids to Work Day, as it plays a large role in encouraging students to think about the future and begin to establish career goals. To read this blog click here http://wp.me/pT6KW-6Q.
Today, let us consider steps you can take to help your child career plan. To begin, career planning requires some thoughtful and deliberate academic planning. Before your child completes grade nine, be sure to take stock of academic strength and areas of growth to be able to select courses for grade ten. Remember that some of the choices you make will impact the options available to your child for further studies in grade eleven, twelve and post-secondary education. You may find it useful to map out a timeline for the remainder of high school and beyond. The point of this conversation is for you and your child to come to an understanding that high school course selection can influence your child’s career planning.
Most likely, your child will not be able to articulate a career goal at this time but that is perfectly normal at this young age. In fact, this generation, more than ever, is inclined to purse multiple careers in their lives. Instead of narrowing in on one specific career, help your child grow in self-awareness to be able to identify his or her strengths and interests. A personality test is a good tool for young people to reflect on how they perceive the world and make decisions. This is a tool for meta-cognition. The Myers-Briggs personality test is just one example of a well researched personality test. This questionnaire measures psychological preferences, a revelation that can be eye opening for young people and adults alike. Be sure to pay careful attention to the analysis and recommendations these tests offer. Remember that these are suggestions and are not meant to limit your child’s options.
Now that we have considered high school academics and personality indicators, we can discuss some more practical approaches to career planning. Consider taking your child to a career fair. Many people attend career fairs with the intention of researching careers. Your child can use this as an opportunity to go to the source and learn about what education and training is required as well as ask questions from someone in the field. This will also develop early interview skills and will encourage your child to present himself/herself confidently. If your child expresses interest in a field, try to coordinate a part-time job or a regular volunteer placement. This will increase your child’s familiarity with the career and may confirm or alter your child’s career interests.
There is much to consider when career planning. Be sure to start early and allow this to be an ongoing conversation. Remember that your child’s interests and career ambitions may change. Be supportive and encouraging in order to help your child find a path that truly fits.
For more information regarding academic support and career planning, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space 416.925.1225 or visit www.ruthrumack.com.