How to Guide Your Teen into a Future Career

It is totally normal for your teen to lack direction, and not know how to plan his future.  One of the most important responsibilities as a parent is to prepare your teen for life after high school.  The following points will help you reveal your teen’s capabilities and opportunities so he can make intelligent decisions about his future.

Ask About Your Teen’s Interests

Many parents think they know their kids, but it is important to really ask your teen what his interests are.  What inspires, challenges, and satisfies him?  Let him know that there is a career choice that can allow him to develop his interests and be successful.  Help him find education and employment options that will foster his strengths.

Help Narrow the Field

Once your teen has chosen a few career options, help him narrow down the choices.  Make sure the choices are in line with his abilities and will offer opportunities for success.  Since your teen has little experience in the workplace, you can provide useful insight about what each career path requires.

Be Honest and Open

Your opinion is highly valued by your teen, and you may have strong feelings about his career choice.  Be sure that you are clear about the pros and cons, and also know what your motives are in advising your teen.  If you have a family business or trade that you want your child to take over someday, be sure that is something your teen really wants, not just something you want.  Allow your teen the space to choose between several options before really making up his mind.

Select the Appropriate Institution

Help your teen research the different educational choices available to him.    Consider all types of institutions such as community college, university, military, but be sure that the school you choose is a good fit for the course of study, budget and location for both you and your teen.

Allow Your Teen to Make a Decision

In the end, the final decision should lie with your teen, but you may need to guide him over the course of a few years.  When it comes time to decide, remind your teen of the responsibilities that come with the decision he has made and offer your support.  Don’t try to manipulate your teen to meet your needs, or tell him he’s on his own if he doesn’t do what you want.  Encourage your teen so he will be accountable for his own actions.

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