3 General Principles For Parents To Help Your Children With Their Careers

Parents you have one more job: career coach

Since appearing on the Chaz & AJ show, I have received many requests from Connecticut parents interested in helping their children with their career paths. While each career path is different and each family’s values, interests, and preferences require different career counseling, there are some general principles that should be applied.

  1. You are the Chief Education Officer of Your Children

When I wrote Motivate Your Son, this principle seemed to reverberate for many parents.  Essentially, in the previous generation, our parents defaulted to the education system to guide us.  Sure, they monitored whether we got good grades.  But the basic programming – get good grades, go to a good college, get a good job – stemmed from the belief that the first two (good grades/good college) automatically led to a good job and career path.  The thought was that during late high school and college we would “figure out what we wanted to do” and then largely because the US economy was almost always booming (by historical standards), we would be fine.  This was certainly an overstated hope as many people wound up in mismatched careers.  Now, however, good grades/good college are still highly important but also “career education” is needed to figure out what one wants to do because most young people have no idea.  More importantly, the education system – high school and college – does little to help children and young adults figure out what they want to do, other than expose them to classes in different areas, most of which have nothing to do with jobs.  Parents have to take control.

2. Realize that you need to educate yourself

Many parents are in the same position as farmers were during the Industrial Revolution.  The world of work has radically shifted.  Everything INTERNET did not exist when you were first contemplating your career.  Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon etc. are now the dominant companies and small business rather than corporations provide the most job growth.  Since you are the primary source of individualized career education for your child, you must be educated as well.

3. Tell your children what you do and have friends/outside sources do so as well.

Yes, Career Counseling Connecticut could be one of those sources.  But friends/relatives who can talk to your children about what they do for a living will also be helpful.  Most of the young adults we interact with have no idea about the world of work.  The most common comment about what parents do is “my Dad works in an office” or “my mom is in business”.  Similarly, they have little idea – beyond teacher, police officer, doctor, firefighter, nurse – what others do for a living.

We are in a career revolution.  Your children could benefit from it or get swept away.  Time to act.  Get your children career guidance as soon as possible.