Help your child assess their interests and build their skill set
April 13, 2021
The fourth post in our series on how parents can help their teen's career exploration and decision-making.
by Nagham Najjar
This is the fourth post in our series on how parents can help their children with career planning.
Family conversations and chat, academic follow-up, sharing hobbies give parents the chance to know their children’s way of thinking and their desires. From here a parent can work more on knowing their child by getting some self-assessment tests that help your child explore careers which can be compatible with their interests and skills.
These self-assessments test a child’s behavior and reaction in certain situations, their values, likes, dislikes, etc. These tests can be done via the help of a school guidance counselor, career training center who are experienced in selecting the appropriate test and interpreting the results. There are plenty of these tests online and they provide quick replies but having the help of a professional is recommended.
Another way as a parent to help your child explore careers is to use your network. When your child shows interest in knowing about a certain career and is eager for details, ask someone from your network to talk to them and answer all their queries.
Or consider job shadowing which gives your child the opportunity to gain knowledge about a specific job and its daily routine. As a parent, you can take your son or daughter to your work for a day with you, or send them with a friend or someone from your network. This experience will give your child a real life taste of the work atmosphere and job requirements.
Children can start evaluating their capabilities for careers they are exploring and thinking of ways to improve the needed skills. These skills can be academic, soft or technical skills. Teens need to work on developing their interpersonal skills and social skills. This can be achieved through experiential learning opportunities such as co-op placements and volunteer work.
Many programs and services in Waterloo Region need volunteers. The resulting sense of belonging to the community will enhance the quality of life for all the citizens in the community. Before the pandemic, almost 2,500 volunteers were offering services in many areas of Waterloo Region such as the museums, libraries, summer camps, etc. Children and parents can check the Volunteer Action Centre for volunteering opportunities.
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.