By Kathleen Gragert
Career Information Analyst
Minnesota Career Information System
You can help your child plan for his or her future.
Why Is Your Help Important?
- Research shows that parents have the greatest influence on their child's career choices.
- You know your child better than anyone else.
- Your child's future is too important to be left to luck or chance.
- Children need guidance to choose the best educational and career path.
- It is important to have a career plan in place before investing time, energy and money in college.
How Can You Help Your Child Make Career Plans?
You can be an active partner with your child as he or she takes steps to develop a career plan.
Identify your child's interests, skills and values
- Talk about likes and dislikes with your child, and discuss how those preferences might relate to career choices.
- Work with your child's school guidance counselors to use formal assessment instruments.
Learn about careers
- Help your child gather information about different career fields.
- Encourage your child to talk to people about their work experiences and to observe people in the workplace.
- Help your child experience different careers through volunteering, internships, apprenticeship or work experience in the fields in which he or she is interested.
- Use online tools to see how your child's skills match those required in various careers.
Set short-term and long-term goals
- Make sure your child considers a range of possible careers around his or her interests
Create and follow an educational plan
- Help your child choose high school courses that will prepare him or her for college or other postsecondary training in his or her preferred field.
Remember that career choice is a personal decision. Do not try to steer your child to a particular career because you think it is something you might like.
Be aware that your child may change his or her career interest as he or she is exposed to more careers. Continue to encourage your child as career choices change. The more informed your child is, the better his or her career choices will be.
Source: America's Career Resource Network