What should parents do to help prepare their children’s careers?

Parents are still their children’s primary guides into their adult lives

Today, I will on the Chaz & AJ Show in the morning.  4th appearance on Connecticut’s number 1 morning radio show!  I was surprised when I was first asked last spring because I thought the show was comedy based.  It is but apparently, career issues are so significant these days that even morning comedy shows are interested in the career path discussions.

The topic today: what should parents do to help their children prepare for their careers?  Specifically, what would constitute effective career guidance?

Through building Career Counseling Connecticut, I’ve met a surprisingly large number of late fortysomethings and plenty of fiftysomethings, essentially those old enough to have college-age children.  At the end of about half of these coaching sessions, the client would say:”I should have had my kid come in here before he went to college”.

Children need to be educated about the career world.  Schools do not provide such education. Parents must fill the void. But parents are also woefully uneducated about the world of work outside their own profession.

Children only know jobs they see: teacher, fireman, police officer, doctor, nurse etc.  Most don’t even know what their parents do. So, for a start, tell your children about your job. And, tell them what you can about jobs held by others they know: uncles/aunts, neighbors etc.

Parents also do not know about how work structures have radically changed.

For example, the percentage of college graduates who get full time jobs has been dropping precipitously.  Internships, independent contracting gigs, part-time jobs, freelancing and other types of “just-in time” work has become much more common. Parents often tell their children: “you only should take a full time job.”.  The world of work is not what it was in the 1990s.

This is not to say that full time jobs are not there or not preferable but simply that other opportunities should be explored.

More to say on subject… if you get a chance, tune in.