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 career expo that provides a unique opportunity for youth (grades 7 - 12) and their parents/guardians to explore career options and attend informative info sessions.

Visit the Explore Your Future event page for more information on current dates and to register. 



Photos taken at Explore Your Future event in April, 2019




Parental Guidelines


Parents and guardians can be very influential in their child's life decisions and career exploration is no exception. 


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!

"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).



Listen With An Open Mind

Your child's career choices may not be what you would have chosen, but refrain from judging their choices or interests and listen.  

Make A Connection

If you know someone working in the field your child is interested in, make the connection so that they can talk to someone in their field of interest.


Talk about your career and career path with your child and answer any questions they have.

Keep It Positive

Maintain a positive attitude and support them throughout the career exploration process. 

Let Them Lead​

Do not take the career exploration process over - these are their decisions to make, they should be leading the process.


There are many ways to encourage your child during their exploration process...

  • 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

Additional Resources 


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 (


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