Eight Ways Your Child Can Find Exciting Career Ideas That Translate to Post-Graduation Success

Parent showing student some things on a laptop.

As a parent, you want your child to be successful after graduation, but for both parents and students, it can feel impossible to come up with any career ideas, much less any sort of plan. This difficulty can parents and students alike despondent about the future.

There are a lot of simple things you can do to help your child find some career ideas and educate them on what those careers look like. and then what type of experience is available for your child so that they can see the back end and be involved in those careers that they may be interested in then they can make the decision. To do this, it’s important to help them discover their interests and figure out what they want in a work environment.

Here are a few questions to help brainstorm interests:

  • What are their favorite subjects in school? This can help determine some of the things your child’s broad interests and help them choose careers to fit.
  • Do they prefer working with people or things? There are several great fields where a student can do both. Determining how much time an individual would like to spend dealing with others can help them assess their ideal job and work environment.
  • Would your child rather work with their hands, or work with theoretical concepts? In general, those who work in an office tend to deal more with the theoretical, whereas those who would rather work with their hands pursue skilled trades careers, cosmetology, massage, and other careers of the like.
  • How much education are they willing to pursue? There are a lot of options for students who don’t want to pursue a traditional 4-year degree, and determining whether your child wants to spend 6 months or a year to get a certificate, or go immediately into the workforce, can help you narrow down career options.  

After assessing a few basic interests, it can be easier to brainstorm career ideas.

Simple ways to expose students of all ages to potential vocations:

  • Ask questions: Ask questions about the careers of people that you encounter (such as the receptionist at the doctor’s office). What kinds of things do they do at their job? What kind of training did they need? What special skills should someone have to do that job?
  • Volunteer: This can be a great way to learn about different industries and the skills needed for different careers. There are many different opportunities to volunteer, ranging from senior citizens to the humane society. Doing work in these fields allows career seekers to learn what they like and don’t like about different roles, and populations.
  • Job Shadow: Shadowing someone who works in an industry of interest is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at what these individuals do on a given day.
  • Attend Events and Career Fairs: This is a very straightforward way to learn about job and career opportunities in the region. Participants can talk to several companies to learn what skills they should develop or apply for a job after graduation. Our annual Career Connections event is coming up on March 24, 2023, and provides students with varied career ideas and pathways.

Finding success is possible for any child with any number of interests, it just takes a little work to know what they want in a career, and the options available. If you and your child would like to dig into this further, we have created a free resource to help every student find their interests, strengths, weaknesses, and occupations that would be best for them.

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