Teenager Career Secrets: Simple Ideas To Discuss Around The Dinner Table – 1

by Donovan Grant on November 1, 2011

Teenager Career Secrets: Simple Ideas To Discuss Around The Dinner Table – 1

By Donovan Grant

What would you like to do when you grow up?

“I want to be a doctor.”

“ I wanna be a footballer.”

“I’m going to be a teacher!”

Every one of us must have faced this question many times when we were young too. And it always seemed easier to come up with an answer before our teenage years. But as we move to young adulthood, the answers seem to dry up. Many young people seem to become uncertain and don’t know what they want to do for the best.

Do you know a teen or young adult who is trying to select their first career?

Today’s young people are facing a world of confusing choices. The world at their feet and as a result they end up not knowing what is best for them. I’ve seen it in my own family and their friends too. They want to get it right first time and end up getting all stressed out about it. Which way to turn.

As parents our main goal is the development of the child. We want everything to be right for our sons and daughters too, so we owe it to them to be a part of the selection process; helping them to find that career anchor that will bring meaning to their lives.

Young adults need you to hold their hand

Why would you hold your child’s hand? Well, if you're following the more usual job search, they probably won't want the hand-holding. The old "mail your resume, respond to ads, try to get interviews, hope for a job offer" way of job hunting just results in frustration and a loss of confidence. Any young adult can complete these tasks with the help of the internet and their careers adviser.

But what if they want to break the mould and go for something a bit more meaningful? They have to believe in themself to stand out from the crowd. What if they want to go on a journey of self-discovery and choose a career that is more in step with who they are? This will take a more interesting approach!

Just imagine for a moment that you were offered a choice of two careers. Both jobs were working for a major financial firm in the heart of London and they were pretty much the same salary and benefits. One job was in the IT department and the other was in marketing and sales department. How would you make your final decision?

Ask a friend?

Would you need to find out more specifics of the roles?

Or would choose based on your particular liking to computers or sales and meeting new people?

I would guess that you would use a combination of all three but, the weight of your choice would be based on what you enjoy doing most.

Maybe the starting point for students thinking about potential future careers is to take a look at their interests and abilities. While most teens will change their career interests (probably many times) there is great value in beginning this process early. The thing is- when students give serious thought to future careers they begin to make the connection to the importance of their education. This can even be a motivating factor to apply themselves to their current studies.

Can your child really choose a career that will be very fulfilling?

Well suppose that you helped them zero in on their favourite skills and apply that knowledge to get the most out of school. Then you helped them to set goals and pursue their ideal dreams. What impact would that have on your child and their outlook on life? This is important for any teenager who cares about his or her future! And all it amounts to is simply exploring who they are, what's important to them and what you like to do.

Despite the best efforts of school and college career advisers, we still find many young people needing help identifying career options that complement the person they are.

Mum and dad, you’ve probably invested time, emotion and money into getting your child to the higher learning that they are now. Keep on going with the momentum you have because you can actually make a big difference in participating in this next step of your child's life.

Here’s a quiz that can offer your child a great starting point for researching careers:

By the time I get to 95, what do I want my gift to the world to have been?

What about the world do I dislike and I would love to fix the most?

What invention or service would I create that my community or country really needs?

What is it that I would most love to do more than anything else in the world?

What do I enjoy that gives me most energy?

Discuss these answers with your son or daughter and see if there are any starting points for future careers. Based on my experience, this exercise always produces a potential idea that is worth looking into.

Let’s help our young adults to remove some of the fear and uncertainty out of job hunting!

We believe in you and we love serving you every day.

Ps. Leave a comment below to lt us know how you enjoyed this article? Did you complete the exercise? Do leave a comment below and let us know how you got on.

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com

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  • Donovan,
    As always, a thoughtful article on another important area of parenting. Helping our children transition from teen to adult is one of the many tasks we face as parents. Supporting them in their decisions can give them the confidence to move forward and make choices they can live with and learn from. The questions you suggest are certainly a starting point to get them thinking as they look at their options.

  • Great article Donovan…our young people/adults certainly do need help to overcome fear, uncertainity, and in some cases…lack of confidence and self-esteem in entering the job market…Excellent!!! Thank you, Hughie

  • Really good article Donovan…parents can begin helping their children early on to believe in themselves and to seek out what may become their passion! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insights!

  • ENO Nsima-Obot MD

    Hi Donovan it’s so synchronous that this thought has come up recently in my household. My teenager who has abhorred the fact that my career has taken time away from her most of her life fancies herself a pediatric surgeon. I’m tickled by this, and leaning toward thinking well I must have done something right. But if I were to hone in on her true talents, I’d say she’s more in the arts and analytical…. And a born leader. So now we are going to begin to focus on developing those skills more and it’s going to be exciting to see what shows up. With no pressure from mom that is. Hopefully

  • LOVE this article Donovan!  I have found this to be such an important topic.  As a former youth minister, teacher, and school administrator, I have found that students are not ready to make decisions on college choice and careers until they have a good understanding of who they are and what it is that makes them tick.  That is why I published a curriculum guide that schools can use to incorporate a high school course that specifically helps students gain an understanding of their unique make-up!  So happy to see you hit on this topic…it is an important one!  Many blessings to you! 

  • Hey Michele, thanks for popping by. Decision making is tough for all of us, so the more support we give now will pay dividends in the future.

  • Cheers Hughie, self-esteem really does count for a lot for new starters!

  • Hey Denny belief is so crucial, thanks for the shout!

  • Wow, thaanks for sharing your story of your great developing of your daughter. She sounds like she has a bright future ahead of her. Your comment will be an inspirational message to many that use it.

  • Hey Jennifer, you have done a great work with your curriculum guide as it is just the thing so many young people need. I’ll have to touch base with you and pick up a copy of that myself, it will be great to share some of your insights.

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