Parents and guardians can be very influential in their child's life decisions and career exploration is no exception. "The importance of parental influence upon their children's career choice is consistently important. Although school, peers, and the youth's community all have an impact on the young adult's self-identity and career choice, the parent's expectations and perceptions of vocational fit for their children have been found to be the key roles in shaping their career choices (Ferry, 2006). In one study (Creamer & Laughlin, 2005), this influence has been so strong as to override the influence of teachers, faculty, and career counsellors." (The Effects of Parental Influence on Their Children's Career Choices, Chance Clutter, 2010).
As a parent or guardian, it can be difficult to know how to support your child as they explore their career options. Making career decisions can be overwhelming for anyone, especially young people and there are several things you can do to support them through this process!
Listen With An Open Mind: Don't judge! Your child's career choices may not be what you would have chosen, but refrain from judging their choices or interests and listen. Your child will open up to you if they don't feel judged.
Make A Connection: If you know someone working in the field your child is interested in, make the connection so that your child can talk to someone in their field of interest.
Share: Talk about your career and career path with your child and answer any questions they have.
Keep It Positive: Maintain a positive attitude throughout the career exploration process. Your child may get discouraged and your positivity will help them feel supported.
Let Them Lead: Do not take the career exploration process over for your child - these are their career decisions and they should be leading the process.
Encourage: There are several tasks that you can encourage your child to do as part of their exploration process:
- research any fields or industries they are interested in
- try new things - jobs, volunteer work, hobbies, sports, clubs, programs, etc to explore interests
- self-reflect on their strengths, areas of improvement, interests, values, skills
- investigate the skills required for careers they are interested in and create a plan to develop those skills
- develop a plan to gain experience and/or contacts in any fields of interest
- participate in experiential learning opportunities to develop skills and learn about various career options
NEW PROGRAM FOR YOUTH & PARENTS - Explore Your Future!
Explore Your Future is a unique opportunity for youth (grades 7 - 12) and their parents/guardians to explore career options and attend informative breakout sessions.
Talk with local employers to learn about future career options, community organizations about programs/services that can prepare youth for their careers, and education/training institutions about programs available.
Who Should Attend?
- Youth in grades 7 - 12 who are making decisions about courses, careers, and education pathways
- Parents/Guardians of the youth in grades 7 - 12
- Educators who assist youth with career planning and exploration
Date: Wednesday April 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 - 9:00pm
Location: Bingemans Conference Centre, Ballroom (425 Bingemans Centre Drive, Kitchener, ON.)
If you are interested in attending Explore Your Future, please register and let us know how many people you will be bringing!
If you are an employer, community organization, or education/training institution and are interested in being an exhibitor, please contact us for details at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Below are additional resources developed by other organizations we have gathered that could be helpful for you:
Career Coaching Your Teens: A Guide for Parents
Career and Workplace Resources, Government of Alberta
A Career Development Resources for Parents
Canada Career Information Partnership, funded by Gov of Canada's Sector Council Program
Parents and Career Planning
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development
Tips for Parents: 8 Ways to Help Your Child's Career Development
Career Key (https://www.careerkey.org/)
Career Planning Tips for Parents
Centre for Career Action, University of Waterloo
For more information on the career exploration activities that the BEP offers to youth, please check out our Programs!
The Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region