As a parent, it is your job to be there for your kids, and to support them both physically and mentally throughout their journey. While some things may come naturally and follow a pretty standard timeline, there are those conversations that can leave you confused as to when to start having them.
For many, the discussion about potential future careers may not come until their teenage years. Parents often assume this is the point in which kids are more in-tune with themselves, aware of the need to choose a career path, and ready to take an interest. While each of these points are valid and can be true, the fact is that there is no good reason to hold off on the discussion of a future career. In fact, there are a number of benefits in having that conversation much earlier on and continuing it throughout the years as they get older.
So, why talk to your kids about careers early on? Let’s take a look.
Instill the Importance of a Career Early On
The first benefit of having this conversation from an early age is that you help them think about just how important a career is in a person’s life. This can be tied to the idea of fulfilment and vocation as well as the concept of bills, finances, and how to make a living. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to get overly detailed if they are young, but explaining why they will need a job, later on, can be done in very simple terms.
Help Your Child to Learn Their Strengths and Interests
Encouraging kids to think about what career they would like to pursue also encourages them to think about their own strengths and interests. This helps to raise self-awareness and even self-confidence as they give thought to the skills they have and what they are good at.
The Cognitive Abilities Test, or the CAT4 test, can also be a great tool in helping to determine where a child excels, and what their strengths are. Not only will this test highlight where they are right now, but it can help them figure out their academic potential and the path they should be on.
It Encourages Them to Apply Themselves in School
A conversation about careers is also a perfect tie-in to the importance of school. Depending on the career they choose, they may have several years of college or university, an apprenticeship, or special training ahead of them. It’s best to learn that early on so they can give school their all and ensure that their chosen career path stays open for them.
Kids Can Start to Form Their Own Roadmap
The earlier on kids start to think about a career and the job they really want to have in life, the earlier they can create their own roadmap to success. Learning that they should have applied themselves more in a particular topic, or enrolled is a specific class after the fact simply isn’t helpful. When you have a career in mind, you can work backward, laying out all the necessary steps to get from point A to B.
Remember, You Are There for Support
One thing to keep in mind as you have these conversations with your child is that you are there for support and information. It’s not about you telling them what career to pick and what path to take, rather you are there to listen to them and offer help when needed.
With so many pros for having this conversation early in life, it’s clear to see there is no need to wait. In fact, by waiting, you might be doing your child an injustice.