A career is not simply holding a job. It is the direction in which the major portion of one’s life will journey.
And where does this journey start? How does a child recognize that ‘This is my direction’? What do children expect from their parents on their best career options? Can parental guidance put them on the right career track?
Questions do galore. Here are few brain quenchers.
Get Them Aligned
Every human being is intuitive – The primary reason for the world to have people with diverse emotions, interests, aspirations and dreams. We all, in the growing years, would have certainly experienced this ‘Don’t know why? But I like to be….’ mental state. It is this expression that our children exhibit as art, dance, theatre, sport, mathematical ability and so on.
The same is ‘The potential’, which parents need to recognize and inspire children to shape up into a career. This is not restricting them from exploring other opportunities. It is only to keep them apprised of a prospective area where they could perform at their best.
After all, at the end of a day’s work, we want to ‘Call it a Day’.
Between the Heart and the Mind
But what if our child wants to pursue a career that serves his or her passion, but lacks the lucrative factor?
There isn’t a set of fixed steps to make our children understand this. Rather a viable option would be to sit with them, discuss and highlight the need for them to be financially sufficient. Also it is good for them to be mentally prepared to embrace a new choice, which is different from their passion. And even more important is giving them sufficient time if they have decided to take up something new.
To face the day to day challenges, one needs to be realistic in their approach.
Commuting to office that requires more than an hour’s travel on daily basis, working in shifts, rendering extended support during weekends, staying away from home for the sake of work – All these and many more add up to daily work pressure.
Children need to be well informed on their nature of work, once they have decided to choose a specific stream.
Because a career decision is life changing and the impact of career is direct in personal lives. And we need to be sure that our children are armed enough to face them.
It is best to recommend them consider the exact scenario of a working environment or the challenges involved, while working for their own initiative, much ahead than they are actually into it.
Many colleges offer courses where internship is required to earn the certificate. In spite of this, we parents can support them to meet people with various work experiences in different fields, which help them understand the real time happenings.
They do it
Succumbing to peer pressure and comparison – These are two vulnerable factors that might prevent our children to identify their true potential. And it is very natural for them to start liking an option that their peer group is persuading.
As parents we need to educate them to value their potential, individuality and the need to stand out in the crowd.
Taking up something different from the peer group needs a clear, bold and constructive thinking. They might even be the first one to choose a different stream or the road less travelled.
If such a choice is exercised, we need to ensure that our children are mentally and emotionally strong in facing odd situations in their journey.
Let’s do it!
Being successful on job – This requires a combination of soft skills to remain ahead in a competitive environment.
Right from the school grading system, our children are assessed based on a holistic approach. On the job skills like being a quick learner, adaptability to changing work environment, socializing abilities, responding positively to stressful situations, problem solving ability etc are dependent on how we bring up our children and the exposure quotient.
Being parents the greatest duty would be to provide them an environment where they can build and apply these soft skills. We actually need not go an extra mile. If as a family we could take every situation as an opportunity to build on the child’s personality, we would realize that we have come a long way!
Because parents are mentors too!
Long Term and Short Term Goals
We may find our children having multiple passions and certainly we can encourage building them into parallel career options.
Help the children understand what could make up their long term career plans and what other passions could be built as short term goals or alternate career options. This is a good strategy, because, it helps the children plan their lifestyle even after retirement age.
The point here is to have the long term career plans lucrative, because our children would be in the prime of their age where their body, mind and spirit are at its highest performance levels.
And needless to mention they would have the satisfaction factor guaranteed!