PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
Research indicates that childrens' career choices are strongly influenced by parents' expectations and perceptions of vocational fit, and this influence is so strong as to override the influence of teachers and career counsellors.
However, many parents are unsure of how to effectively support their child's career development and exploration.
Below you can find some information that can guide you!
Explore Your Future is an annual, FREE event that provides a unique opportunity for youth (grades 7 - 12) and their parents/guardians to explore career options and attend informative breakout sessions.
Visit the Explore Your Future event page for more information on current dates and to register.
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
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 Training, Colleges and Universities
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 youth, check out our Programs