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Career Planning

5 Tips for being a successful parent mentor

April 29, 2021

The final post of our series on how a parent can be their child's mentor and guide for a better career pathway through high school and into the workforce.

by Nagham Najjar

Here we come to the final post of our series on how a parent can be their child's mentor and guide for a better career pathway.

You will find while reading this post that it has many suggestions that can be modified based on the child’s age and situation. As parents, we need to always remember that the sooner we start exploring future careers with our children, the better the results because lines of communication and discussions are open and trial and error is still acceptable.

TIP 1: Always keep in mind that employment success is often a result of a lifetime of good education. Ongoing learning is an important ingredient in a successful career. Parents and school counsellors play a role in solving the puzzle of the best opportunities for learning that fits a child. For example, there are many educational choices where students can learn technical skills or experience career options such as co-op placements and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). It is important to encourage and support our children to complete their education and reach for a level that opens more market doors for them.

TIP 2: Our children are unique people. They are not us. They have their own personalities, values, and attitudes. They think in a way that is applicable to their age and time. We cannot expect them to make the decisions we would and we cannot make decisions on their behalf.

TIP 3: Support children in exploring new experiences such as volunteer work or field placement programs. These experiences will let our children develop social skills and skills that will play a role in developing their future personalities. And it would be a good idea to always share with them our ups and downs of work life and how we handled difficult situations.

TIP 4: Sharing interests with our children will open the door for conversations. This kind of communication will help us get to know our children better by learning more about their hobbies and what they like or dislike. This will lead us as parents to better support them in making their decisions about their future career.

TIP 5: Asking for counselling assistance is a good way to better understand the abilities of our children. Personality, skills, attitudes tests will give a clear vision about the nature of our children’s capabilities and where the best match of occupations will be.

Finally, career counselling your children is a journey. It starts with learning about our children, then identifying their skills, researching career options, and linking academic programs to careers where our children can live their values throughout their career.

Nagham Najjar lives in Kitchener with her husband and her two boys aged six and nine. She has a Bachelor in Business Administration and anticipates receiving her Career Development Professional Graduate Certificate. She has six years experience as a School College Counsellor working with students between 15 and 18 years old regarding their academic achievements and career path.

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