Career decision making is a process, not an event that occurs at a given time. Your child's future career will be influenced by events that start occurring in the preschool years and continue throughout life. Here are some ways in which you can assist your child in positive career development.
Encourage your child to think about the question, "What will I do when I grow up?"
Talk with your child at an early age about specific careers. Encourage your child to read and ask questions about careers. Ask your child to think of alternative choices.
Eliminate sex bias in thinking about your child's future career. Teach your child that a person's sex doesn't matter; it's ability that counts.
Don't hesitate to respond when your child asks, "What do you think I should be when I grow up?" Point out talents and interests that your child possesses and discuss jobs that are related to these areas.
Tell your child in a positive way about the work that you do. Neither encourage or discourage your children from choosing your line of work.
Encourage your child to ask people about their jobs. If your child is interested in a particular job, ask if your child can visit to see what the job actually involves. Take your child on field trips to see various people at work in factories, offices, auto repair shops, retail stores, etc.
Help your child explore hobbies and other leisure-time activities that are productive and useful.
Help your child understand how very important his/her school work will be in later job decisions.
Encourage your child to engage in part-time work outside the home.
Encourage your child to visit with teachers and counselors about future career plans and expectations.
You may want to visit with your child's teacher or counselor to discuss your child's career plans. Ask about your child's Plan of Study.
Help your child understand that it will be equally important to acquire a set of specific job skills and a set of adaptable skills for occupational success.
Remember a college degree is no longer the best or surest route to occupational success. Encourage your child to think about all kinds of postsecondary education.