Do you see your children enthralled by an artistic or unconventional career? Are they passionate about pursuing a career in the arts – acting, direction, playwriting, dancing, singing or music?
What sounds like passion for your child, might be a difficult career possibility for you. You might have envisioned your child in a field with more job security, safety and with a defined career path. Something more traditional – Engineering, Medicine, Law or Management, perhaps?
Yet, now your child can’t stop talking about pursuing a career in a field you would never have envisioned for them.
You worry that life in an unconventional field looks difficult when compared to a career in the more traditional fields, and may not pay well immediately. There might be more efforts involved, more hurdles to get established, more uncertainty on a daily basis.
So, how do you react? How do you come to terms with their offbeat career choice or get them to see eye-to-eye with you on their career decision?
Here are a few tips to navigate such a situation and take the right call to secure your child’s future:
1. Keep your Calm
So your child wants to become an artist and you’re worried about his career choice and want him to pursue a rational career path? Take baby steps and do not lose your calm. Don’t be apprehensive and disapprove their ideas without listening to them, and whatever you do, do not try to impose your opinions on them.
Listen to them with utmost patience, be supportive of their opinions and make them feel valued. The career decision-making process is daunting, and an impulsive reaction from you can shake their confidence and belief in their self. Help them navigate their options, but do so strategically.
2. Refrain From Being Over-Protective
As parents, it is difficult to let your children be in a risky situation, and thus you try to protect and assist them with every stumbling block. However, when it comes to their career (the first big decision of their adult life), let them go a little bit on their own. If you keep on spoon-feeding them, they will never get to experience life on their own and will always consider you as a fallback option. They will depend on you for future challenges and it will hinder their independence and confidence in their own decision-making.
Let them make their own mistakes, let them realize with their own experiences, and most of all, let them make their own informed career decision.
3. Seek a Commitment from Their End
A lot of times kids are attracted to a particular career due to the glamour associated with it, which makes their choice driven by interest much more than anything else. As parents, you need to figure out if they are genuinely serious to pursue it, and are fully aware of all facets of the said career – positive or otherwise.
Encourage them to do their own research to learn as much as they can about the field they wish to pursue – the career path, the challenges, a typical day in the career, etc. It is very easy for a child to claim they are interested in pursuing a particular field, but when they show the reserve and commitment to spend efforts in learning about a career, that is when you know the child is serious about it, that it’s not a passing interest.
When your child is engaged in their research, be inquisitive and show interest. Sit with them, and talk about their plans, ask specific questions and keep a check on their research. It might be a great idea to pursue your own research to cross-validate the facts and be aware of everything one needs to know about that career.
Check out the Mindler Career Library with detailed information on hundreds of career options.
4. Safeguard their Future
Along with working on the career research, you must motivate them to focus on their professional growth and development. Make them understand how important it is to have a strong educational degree, that even if they wish to pursue a talent-based career, they can still safeguard their career path with a degree in a related area to fall back on. Enrol them in training sessions and professional courses to enhance the skill required for the career they wish to pursue.
Expose them to the realities of the industry, like letting them participate in a singing competition or a theatre show, and see how they are able to pull it off. This will not only make them more determined about their passion but also drive them to do a thorough research and get a reality check of where they stand in the competitive world.
Alongside this, help them volunteer and do internships to build up their profile and gain important skills required in their industry. The correct profile building is absolutely essential for a great career, it’s high time we give it its due importance.
5. Appreciate Smart Risk-Taking and Hard Work
Hard work is essential to attain success in any field, supplement that with directed strategy and you’re golden. Career planning requires efforts across all fronts – research, planning and implementation. Appreciate the hard work your child is putting in, even if it is investing time in research. Make sure you appreciate your child at every step of the way.
That said, please be wary of exaggerating and lying to avoid the difficult reality of their skills. Over-appreciating can also be negative and can make your child use the short-cuts. You have to constantly monitor and affirm their hard work and ensure it’s in the right direction.
6. Seek a Mentor
Sometimes, no matter how much you know about your child, and how well you can guide them, children may not want to share their most intimate feelings with you, purely because they don’t wish to trouble you. That’s exactly why helping them seek a mentor can help you ensure they get the advice they require, even if it’s not coming directly from you.
It is important that your child’s mentor be a professional, for they will bring an objective approach to career planning. They will be confidantes your children can confide in completely, and who will also act as mediators between you and your child. More importantly, they will craft personalized strategies for your child’s success.
Mindler Career Experts can help your child to build a realistic career plan to ensure success in the future. Schedule a free 15-min counselling call now.
Perfect career decision making is vital to professional success. Your child will need your help, support and affirmation at every step. That said, they will want to try things on their own, spread their wings, and as parents, you should let them. You just need to be careful and let them take calculated risks, encourage them to be resilient and not give up easily.
Hope this helps you. If you have anything to add to the post, feel free to comment and share your thoughts.