How to Help Your Child Get Job-Ready


Last Updated: September 7, 2022
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We live in a world of cut-throat competition. Even your child, who is yet to enter the world of adulthood, has a lot to worry about. Be it coping with education and coaching classes, peer pressure, life choices or self-discovery, there’s tons going on in their life. This is where you come into the picture. You might not be able to solve every little problem they have, but you can guide them right whenever you can.

student frustrated

Getting the first job might seem like a huge milestone for them at this point. You can help neutralise their fears without giving them unrealistic hope. After passing through an education system that has trained them to study for good grades, they will need help preparing for the harsh realities of a practical world. However, remember that you can only be a guiding light here, and not take the responsibility off their shoulders. Sometimes, parents do tend to get so involved in the process that they go to the extent of following up with employees on the behalf of their adult child. This is, of course, an extreme. But there are simpler ways in which you can help your child get ready.

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Put them to work

Counselling psychologist Ms Kinjal Pandya says, “Parents don’t want to leave any stone unturned for their child and tend to go overboard. They should stand by their children as moral and emotional support, but shouldn’t let them feel too dependent because there is a limit to which parents can help them,” she adds. Encourage your child to apply for the right job. Help them prepare for the interview. Follow up with them on how their job hunt is going. You can encourage them when the going gets tough and be there for moral support.

Honesty still is the Best Policy

Dr Shefali Batra, psychiatrist and cognitive therapist with experience in career counselling, feels that the children need support and the right feedback from parents at this tender age. “Usually, I take one session with the child and one with the parents before talking to them together because the outlook of the parents matters a lot.” It is important for parents to show their children a glimpse of the real world instead of painting a rosy picture. “Setting unrealistic expectations will only make it that much harder for your child to survive in an already tough world,” adds Ms Pandya. Don’t just applaud or criticise your child; give them constructive feedback. Guide them on how they can improve. And if you’re not sure how, seek help from a professional.

Talking to people

Counselling is a Valid Option

If your child is at the cusp of making the biggest decision of their life, they are bound to turn to you for help. However, you may not always be the right person to guide them, as your child has over 12000 options to choose from and it’s impossible for you to help them pick the right one. This is where career counselling comes in. You can help your child choose a comprehensive career guidance option that considers their personality, interests and abilities, like the Mentoria solution. Once your child has discovered a career they will be able to enjoy and excel at, you can encourage them to get real work experience in the form of internships. Avoid pushing them down a career path they are not fully comfortable with. If your child pursues a career they love, they’re likely to be a lot happier and successful.

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When in Doubt, Look it up

You’ve helped your child discover their true career calling. How do you help them prepare for a job in that field? Ask your child to look up all the information they can find on their chosen career path. “Reading articles and watching videos is fine, but I also recommend reading biographies. Quite often, children are drawn to the glamorous side of the profession and their aspirations lack any real knowledge of what the job entails,” says Dr Shefali. “Reading books about people who made it big includes the challenges and paints a more realistic picture,” she adds. While a college will help them with the foundation knowledge, biographies and interviews of professionals will give them a real glimpse of what their future job will look like.

Skill Up!

Before your child enters the working world, help them develop the basic skills required for the job. There are several skill-based workshops that take place in most metropolitan cities. If you can, send your child for the relevant ones. Even if you can’t find such workshops in your locality, you can always get them to register for online courses and workshops that help them develop the required skills.

Most colleges also have guest lectures, alumni groups and placement cells. Encourage your child to build a network while attending such events and put those contacts to good use. Staying in touch with seniors and even faculty members of educational institutions could help your child find an internship or a job.

man tying his shoe lace

It’s only natural to want to help your child every step of the way. But you have to remember that your child is slowly turning into an adult. As hard as it seems, you have to let them make their own decisions and even their own mistakes. All you can do is offer them support and guidance.

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