Tips for Parents
Making Career Choices:
What Will My Student Choose to Do?
For many college students, the pressure to determine a future career weighs heavily on their minds. Even though we know that the majority of people change careers several times throughout their lifetime, students still experience substantial stress as they try to figure out what they want to do with the "rest" of their lives.
A new website, recently launched by TheCareerProject.org, is a free resource that disseminates practical career advice — directly from the people who work in the careers shared. This interactive website includes profiles with detailed interviews, statistics and an hour-by-hour account of a typical workday. For a nominal yearly registration fee ($4.99), users can directly and anonymously ask any of the profiled mentors questions. The fee helps protect the integrity of the website and helps ensure against spam and other negative web-associated activities.
The founder of the website, a former career counselor, initially created the site for students. However, the information can be valuable to people of all ages. Visit www.TheCareerProject.org to learn more. The website may help alleviate stress for young people trying to learn more about the career options available to them. You'll be able to help your student in a non-invasive manner, by allowing him to investigate options on his own time. A year-long registration could be a great academic-related gift to give this holiday season, too!
How to Help Your Student Explore Career Options
- Support your student as he chooses to take a variety of classes. This is what college is all about. You never know what might spark a student's interest and lead to a career choice in the future.
- Talk, listen and suggest options. Many students go through several years of college before deciding what they want to do. This is normal. Encourage your student to take advantage of internships and other practicum opportunities to try out potential career areas. The more exposure your student has to different arenas, the better.
- Keep the panicking to a minimum. This is an important developmental step in your student's life. Remind her to take advantage of campus resources like career fairs, the career center and more. You might even consider visiting the career center's website yourself to get tips and explore resources.
- Share your wisdom. Many students don't consider the values and lifestyle choices associated with making a career decision. What have you learned along the way? What might you have done the same or differently? Just remember that your student's values might be different than your own at this point in his life.
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