Helping Your Child Figure Out A Career

Helping Your Child Figure Out A Career

Helping Your Child Figure Out A Career

by Steve Gamel

There have been plenty of inspiring stories of local small-business owners in the pages of our Living magazines, but there’s no doubt that the best ones are the entrepreneurial tales of our area youth.

For example, there is young Zack Crabill, who started Zack’s Doggy Doody Service in Lantana to help him save money for his first car. There’s also the young men from Lake Dallas ISD who opened a lawn mowing service that gained a handful of new customers within a matter of days. Just last month, we highlighted 5th-grader Chloe Kelley, who is the proud CEO of Soaper Girl.

After sharing those stories, and so many more just like it, it’s clear that there’s no limit to how early kids begin thinking about careers and their future. Who knows if they’ll stick with these jobs or move on to something else, but it begs the question: how can we as parents help our kids – from pre-teen to high school seniors – pick a career they’ll love?

Here are a few suggestions:

Push their passion

If you’re going to work for the next 20 or 30 years, you might as well pick something you are passionate about. As parents, it’s easy to suggest careers to our children that we like, whether it’s our own career or another that carries lots of prestige. What we should be doing is honing in on what our child’s strengths are and what they are most passionate about. They may still become a lawyer or police officer like you, or they could choose something else. Either way, they’ll be happy.

Tap into your resources

Speaking of chasing dreams, if your child is passionate about a particular subject in school, maybe it would be a good idea to leverage the contacts you’ve built over the years to expose them to that sort of stuff outside of the classroom. They can interview these individuals and even shadow them on the job for a day or two. And who knows, maybe that person will become their mentor.

Look for electives and trade classes at school

Signing your kids up for electives and trade classes like woodworking, theater, engineering, or plumbing provides them with a unique learning experience and the opportunity to prepare for a job directly out of high school.

Encourage summer internships

Applying for a regular summer or after-school job has its advantages, but for the older kids out there, taking part in a paid or non-paid internship gives them hands-on experience in a career they enjoy so they can decide if it’s right for them.

Help them get that new business venture off the ground

The young men mentioned above who started a lawn care service got help from their parents, who not only bought supplies and equipment but also gave up their time to drive them to clients’ houses since none of them had a driver’s license. Make sure your kids know how much you support them and their entrepreneurial choices.


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