As a college career coach, I ask new freshmen two questions: What career are you considering? And how did you become interested in that career?
Most often, young adults choose a career based on a few options they’re aware of through personal experience. For example, when a student says she’s considering teaching, nine times out of 10 it’s because of a teacher she had in school. Unfortunately, most teens and young adults know only a small percentage of potential jobs and careers, so they choose among the few they do know.
Dads can play a significant role in exposing their kids to a much wider array of careers and jobs simply by encouraging them to grow a “career antenna,” because careers are all around us, everywhere we go.
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• When you’re out with your kids (of any age), point out various careers that you see.
For example, when you’re outside and see a house being built, you could ask your kids to name all of the careers related to houses (e.g., real estate agent, landscaper, mortgage broker, architect, developer, etc.).
• When you see your children do well in a certain subject or show interest in a specific activity, think about the careers that relate and ask if they could see themselves in a relevant career. For example, if your child likes to make creative designs or animations on the computer, ask him if he’s heard of graphic design as a career and if he might see himself doing something like that.
• You and your wife could encourage your teenager to meet with the school counselor to explore career options, or check out websites that do a good job of describing career options, such aswww.wetfeet.com