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How to talk to your child about their career goals


teenagers looking at a laptop

Talking to your child about their career goals can be a daunting task, but it is important to start the conversation early. The sooner your child starts thinking about their future, the better prepared they will be for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.


Here are some tips for talking to your child about their career goals:

  • Start by asking them open-ended questions. What are their interests? What are they good at? What do they enjoy doing? This will help you to get a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Help them to explore their options. Once you have a better understanding of your child's interests and abilities, you can start to help them to explore different career options. There are a number of resources available to help you, such as books, websites, and career counselors.

  • Encourage them to set goals. Once your child has a better understanding of their options, they can start to set goals for themselves. What do they want to achieve in the next year? The next five years? The next ten years? Encouragement and support from parents is essential for helping children to achieve their goals.

  • Help them to develop a plan. Once your child has set some goals, you can help them to develop a plan to achieve them. This may involve identifying the skills and knowledge they need to develop, as well as the steps they need to take to reach their goals.

  • Be supportive and patient. Achieving career goals takes time and effort. Be supportive of your child along the way, and encourage them to persevere even when they face challenges.

Here are some specific questions you can ask your child to get the conversation started:

  • What are your interests?

  • What are you good at?

  • What do you enjoy doing?

  • What kind of work environment do you think you would thrive in?

  • What are your salary expectations?

  • What kind of lifestyle are you hoping to achieve?

  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?

Once you have a better understanding of your child's career goals, you can start to help them develop a plan to achieve them. Here are some things you can do:

  • Help them to identify the skills and knowledge they need to develop. This may involve researching different careers and talking to people who work in those fields.

  • Help them to develop a plan to acquire the skills and knowledge they need. This may involve taking classes, getting involved in extracurricular activities, or finding a mentor.

  • Help them to set realistic goals and timelines. It is important to break down large goals into smaller, more manageable steps.

  • Encourage them to take risks and try new things. The best way to learn is by doing.

  • Be there to support them and offer guidance along the way.

Remember, everyone's career journey is different. There is no right or wrong way to go about it. The most important thing is to help your child find a career that they are passionate about and that will allow them to use their skills and talents to the fullest.


Here are some additional tips for helping your child develop a plan to achieve their career goals:

  • Encourage them to create a CV and cover letter. This will help them to practice their writing skills and to think about their qualifications and experience.

  • Help them to prepare for job interviews. This may involve practicing answering common interview questions and developing their interviewing skills.

  • Connect them with people in their field of interest. This could involve networking with friends, family, or colleagues.

  • Encourage them to volunteer or intern in their field of interest. This is a great way to gain experience and to make connections.

By following these tips, you can help your child to develop a plan to achieve their career goals. Remember to be supportive and patient, and to encourage them along the way.

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