Career Guidance for Your Child’s Vulnerable Future

Janvi Parekh

Last Updated: September 13, 2023
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The blockbuster Bollywood movie, 3 Idiots, rightly captured the Indian parents’ expectations of contemplating career options like doctor or engineer, even before you had a name.

Current scenarios in career scope have drastically changed, causing a hindrance in career selection. Those imposed, outdated ideas or views on careers do not match today’s reality. However, not many parents ask their children for their preferences, interests, and likes. This is where the gap widens between passion and a successful career for a child.

Realistically, choosing a career can prove to be daunting, from the fear of the unknown to lack of awareness can toss a roadblock on the path to a career decision, especially when one has stepped into College Life

Parents Aspirations ≠ Child’s Interests

career decisions

Parents tend to implant an idea of success through a “respectable job” or a “perfect career” based on careers they know well about. At other times, parents project their unfulfilled aspirations on children, pressuring them with unreal expectations. This invariably instils a notion of and a calling for high-earning careers and occupations at the cost of their aspirations and interests. Parents must however note what their child aspires to become and the parental expectations can be, at times, two non-aligning stories.

Parents should thereby encourage their teens to build “their perfect” by helping them figure out who they are, and what they want to do and become in life. This can be simply done by taking up career assessments and career counselling

In India, students first become engineers and then decide what they want to do in life.

A teenager is immensely inspired and motivated by the parent’s active interest in their field of choice. However, Indian parents treat their wards as kids by imposing certain restrictions and denying them the opportunity to explore and study a subject of their choice. By being stuck with limited choices and parental expectations, a teen is left confused, lost out on their dreams, and falls in line with the crowd. This creates frustration and causes the teen to frequently lose interest in activities soon after starting them. Thus, the role of parents in career selection is crucial to provide the necessary career guidance.

How Can A Parent Guide Their Ward Through Career Selection?

planning for success

Fortunately, some parents these days hold a liberal view when it comes to redefining mainstream career opportunities. Parents are now able to realise that things are not as foggier as they appear. Hence, they are more willing to embrace unheard ideas. 

Of course, there is still some resistance to more unusual choices. Involved parents know their children the best and about new career paths and career choices that can facilitate selection for them.

Instead of misguiding the children with false information, please take a moment to research their queries and then provide them with information about all the aspects of career, education, and work-life. This could also mean seeking help from a professional career and guidance counsellor.

Parents may help their teen to start developing a network for the future, infusing realistic views. By pulling a few strings, children can have an opportunity to shadow a few experts in the field. This could also be motivating for them to take short-term courses in related fields. Moreover, opportunities to intern for industry experts will help them receive hands-on exposure to the interested career.

The more you know about the pitfalls of choosing a career, the more prepared you’ll be when faced with the process. All this would help the teens make realistic, informed career and educational career decisions.

What To Do When Your Child Makes An Incorrect Career Choice?

what's in a wrong career choice?

Children may sometimes make a wrong decision; trial and error in the career decision-making process is an inevitable hiccup that parents need to guide their children through, using their education and professional experience.

Rather than reacting in contempt and rejecting their idea, parents could respectfully supervise them by listening with patience, helping them come up with a solution, and supporting them unconditionally.

Demotivating the child could have a negative effect on their mental health and overall personality development. That is why teens need constant reassurance from their parents about being comfortable with the uncertainty that the future prevails to avoid stress.

When Shall The Career Guidance Journey Begin?

when shall the career journey begin?

Parents should explore careers as early as elementary age to help build self-confidence and career awareness in the children. Parents should take the required steps to evaluate their child’s personality, ability, and interest to guide them in making informed choices. This can be done through Career Assessments which are followed by intense and unbiased Career Counselling sessions that determine the type of careers the child should pursue. 

Generally, parents tend to be their children’s role models, and children look up to their parents’ personal and professional way of life. Thus, parental experiences and education can prove to be beneficial in their child’s career selection process. Instead of forcing a parental opinion on children; parents can-

  • Help children discover their passion and motivate them to follow that route
  • Encourage them to express their opinion to select the best-fit career for them
  • Impart career awareness by discussing various career fields or simply by discussing their own career paths
  • Educate their children to prevent them from succumbing to peer pressure and herd mentality
  • Offer to introduce them to various professionals from their fields of interest.

Parents and children need to work in tandem to gather the required educational and career information to make a guided choice about a suitable career choice.

So, What Next?

next steps

Parental over-involvement and coerced decisions on children could cause irreversible damage to their young ones. Career decisions should not be on the foundation of a parent’s half-baked knowledge. Teens need to be aware of the maximum number of available career options and their educational paths before making a conscious choice. In such a case, parents need to consult a trained professional career counsellor who could guide the child with the most suitable career option based on his/her potential.

Besides, who doesn’t like planning ahead? Try our assessment which is absolutely free, and book a session with one of our counsellors to help you decide the career that best fits your child’s dream. Kick-start your child’s career discovery journey with Mentoria & be sure to find the right career fit for these future leaders. Our 4-step career guidance solution, helps us find the right career fit from 3 streams, 850+ courses & 12,000+ careers. So don’t wait, and let’s talk!