Don’t take chances with you teenager’s future study or career choices – Part 1

Don’t take chances with you teenager’s future study or career choices – Part 1

By Donovan Grant

teen career choices

The results are in. Just like most adults, it’s no surprise if your teenage son or daughter doesn’t know what really interests them yet.

Why interests?

It’s not just about their future career either. Quite simply, what are they interested in most in life.

Have you tried asking a teenager to tell you what they’re interests are?

They could probably tell you a million things that their friends do. But about themselves- the response is normally “I don’t know!”

Where parents can help?

Being a dad who has helped to nurture two daughters through their “worrying” teenage years, I know how tough this phase of life is for your teens and you too!

One thing for sure is that taking time to talk about and write down your child’s interests will be useful in all future career decisions they have.

What’s important?

To be perfectly honest, there a 3 elementary things that everybody needs to know about themselves before they make choices on career or studies:

  • What interests you most in life?
  • What skills are you good at and enjoy using?
  • What ways do you have for managing yourself?

We will talk about the others (2 & 3) in another article but for today we are concerned with helping to discover your son or daughter’s interests.

Don’t take chances

Did you know that people who don’t realise what they are interested in end up following someone else’s agenda.

The result?

They experience one or more of the following:

  • End up going down a path that doesn’t suit you
  • Make choices based on what friends or peers do
  • Getting bored and dropping out of college or work
  • Search for jobs that you are not really interested in
  • Let mum or dad decide what’s best.

Getting proactive

Alternatively, a teen who knows their interests has more energy, confidence and can talk about their interests passionately and clearly.

Are you a parent who could do with a hand in discovering your teen’s interests?


Fact: Your teen is the best judge on what interests them. You just need to help them express it.

Here’s a quick and easy tactic that will save you many nights of worrying “is my teenager going to get through this?”

Discovering your career interests

  1. What do you like to do for fun?
  2. What is something you’ve always wanted to try?
  3. What’s your favourite subject at school or college?
  4. If you could do any job for a day, what would you do?
  5. What do you read about in your spare time?

The next step is to talk with your teen to see how their interests connect and what is important to them in each of these ideas.

Remember, this is just the first step in the journey of helping your child make choices in future studies and careers. So make it fun and give them room to be the boss.

Over to you
Supporting your teen to make future career choices doesn’t have to be stressful, complicated or cost you a lot of money.

With a little imagination and a sense of fun, you can use one of this quiz or come up with one of your own to encourage participation from your teen so they’ll get a better idea of opportunities available to them.

What do you think? Have you helped a teen through career choices before? What were the results? What ideas can you share? Leave a comment in the box below.
Donovan Grant Feb2013 150x150 Be Your Own Career Coach: Getting From Stuck To Success In Mid Life Donovan Grant is a people development expert, seminar leader and writer who brings his wisdom as an IT professional for over 20 years to coaching clients from the stages of career struggle through to career freedom. He is a committed leader who believes that we get more growth, satisfaction and happiness at work when we are doing what we love.



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