Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions that a young person can make. Unfortunately, young people are called upon to make this decision at a time when their understanding of themselves and of the world is still developing.
While discussing this question with their parents can be helpful, it is often the case that parents have a hard time understanding the qualities, capabilities and intelligence of their children.
Here's a fictional example of the problem. It is a short dialog that takes place as George Washington returns home to visit his mother after the successful outcome of the American Revolution.
Washington (entering his mothers home): "Mother, I have wonderful news. We are victorious. We have a new nation. I have led a rag-tag army through terrible trials, have fought against the most powerful country in the world and have brought defeat to the King of England!"
Washington's mother: "Wipe your feet. How many times have I told you not to track mud into the house?"
In short, it's hard to have a high opinion of someone whose diapers you have changed.
Parents often have a difficult time understanding the personal qualities of their children, Which makes it tough to wisely advise them on making the proper career decisions. True, some parents can overcome this problem, but many don't.
The process of selecting a career requires self-analysis on the part of both the parents and the child. This enables the formation of personal values and goals. These values and goals will help the child to follow a career that is fulfilling and that he or she will enjoy enough to keep working at for many years. Only then is it practical to determine and pursue the educational requirements necessary to enable that child to function professionally in the field of choice.
Determining a career path early has become important in our constantly evolving society. And so many parents are taking the option of using career counseling services for their teenagers. Sometimes these teenagers are as young as fourteen.
The ever increasing cost of education, along with a volatile job market, has caused parents to become more involved it helping their children determine career goals, for the waste of time and money pursuing the wrong paths can be costly indeed.
Fortunately, there are now many different options for obtaining information and advice that go far beyond the traditional school counselor. There are online career counseling websites and even career assessments available from qualified psychologists. While some options are free of charge, others can be quite expensive.
The most effective approach is to combine information obtained from in depth personal interviews with data from psychological testing. These tests should include determination of the students thinking skills, aptitudes, interests and personality. A detailed discussion with a councilor or psychologist enables the student to understand the information derived from formal testing and to evaluate his or her choices.
We feel that a student's personality, interests, aspirations and talents should be the starting point for determining a satisfying career. Through self-exploration and a bit of objective research, the student can participate in planning a viable future.