100 Ways to Help Your Child Choose a Career Path

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You might not think you need to have the career path talk with your child until high school, but in reality, it’s never too soon to start brainstorming different options. This doesn’t mean you need to sit down and have a serious conversation about the type of career he sees himself in, though. Instead, talk to him about the different jobs he sees on a daily basis, ask him about what excites him and encourage him to follow his passions. All of these things can make it easier to define what he wants to do in life once it’s time to start narrowing down the careers he’s actually interested in pursuing. For more help on assisting your child in defining a career path, check out these 100 blogs.

Dream Big

Throughout your child’s life, encourage him to dream big and believe that the sky really is the limit. Use these 10 sites to help your child see the world as his oyster, ready for the taking.

  • Everyday Life encourages you to travel with your child to expose him to new and different things.
  • Plant the idea of going to college to obtain a successful career early on, suggests Great Schools.
  • Visionary Mom recommends letting your kids see you work towards different goals and pursue a career you love.
  • Remind your child that he can do anything he puts his mind to, advises Wall Street Journal.
  • Read to your kids often to open up their imaginations and show them that all things are possible, says Ericka Jefferies.
  • The Seeds Network suggests helping your kids create a dream book where they can think about what they want to be, where they want to live and what they want to have.
  • Avoid discounting a dream that your child has. Instead, The WM Parenting Connection advises supporting the dream by taking your child to lessons or buying books on the subject.
  • Let your child try his hand at conquering smaller dreams and help him achieve small successes, encourages Teenmania.
  • Encourage your child to be whoever he wants to be, counsels Essential Kids, because tomorrow’s leaders are today’s dreamers.
  • Give your child a piece of paper and ask him to write down his dreams, no matter how big or small, then discuss them together, recommends Brian Upshaw.

Give it a Try

As your child gets older, keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities for him to experience various careers and encourage him to talk to professionals in fields that interest him. These 10 blogs are full of ideas on how your child can try out different careers.

  • Recommend that your child volunteer in the field he is interested in, says eCampus Tours.
  • Encourage your child to take a part-time job in an area that he finds interesting so he can learn more about the field, advises America’s Career Resource Center.
  • KSL explains that ‘take your child to work day’ gives him a chance to see what you do and ask questions.
  • Set up an informational interview with someone in the field he is interested in pursuing, suggests Career Planning.
  • Suggest trying an internship in an area that he is interested in, like this Environmental Educator position for Solar Youth that takes place after school, on weekends and during the summer.
  • Watch videos from Kids.gov that show and describe various jobs to see if any of them seem interesting to your child.
  • According to ABC Local, Kidzania is a new concept in amusement parks that allows kids to try out adult jobs.
  • Find people whose careers your child admires and have him ask them if he can shadow them at their job for an hour, a day or longer, suggests Forbes.
  • If your child thinks that a career in acting might be for him, suggest he go on some auditions, like the ones mentioned on Ace Your Audition for Disney.
  • Let your kids try jobs like dog walking, pet sitting and lawn mowing if they express an interest in working with animals, with their hands or in nature, advises Kidzworld.

Do Your Research

Before deciding on a career path, it’s important to research the salary, availability, benefits and other pertinent details about each job that your child has an interest in. These 10 websites can help you and your child do just that.

  • Find websites like Happy Living Magazine that examine various interests and explain jobs that cater to those interests.
  • Your child can break down his research into areas of interest and explore jobs from there using the University of Sussex site.
  • If you are working with a young child that doesn’t have any idea what various jobs entail, take him through Career Kids and watch videos about different career choices.
  • Psychology Today explains how to find jobs that utilize what you’re good at and fit your personality.
  • Find a list of suggested areas your child should explore when considering a career path on Sallie Mae.
  • Encourage your child to look into sites like Career One Stop, where he can read about various careers and then find out what kind of education is needed and what salary he might expect to earn.
  • Take a look at your child’s interests and recommend that he explore jobs that relate to the things he already likes, explains The De Paul Career Center.
  • Finding a job that suits your child’s skills and disposition is not always enough; University of Waterloo recommends also looking at the job market.
  • Help your child ‘map’ his career on Career Ship. This site has a unique way of steering people to the right career path for them.
  • Tufts University provides a list of sites that are broken down into different fields so you can easily research various jobs with your child.

Narrow the Field

Middle school is a good time to start narrowing down career choices based on your child’s strengths and the subjects he likes. Use these 10 sites to help.

  • Look through occupations and determine more specific job titles on Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Let your child explore various career choices to help narrow his search, suggests Know It All.
  • The Art of Manliness explains how your child can start to narrow down his career choices.
  • Help your child create a career path using the tips and suggestions made on Education Bureau.
  • Talk to your child about his general preferences, such as whether he sees himself working inside or outside and by himself or with a group, advises Today’s Parent.
  • Encourage your teen to check into a career counseling center to talk to an expert who may be able to help your child narrow his choices, suggests Omaha.
  • Provide your child with news stories and articles that detail interesting jobs, explains Priston 30.
  • You can help your child by providing the tools for him to determine what he has an aptitude for and then encourage him to look at jobs that use those skills, recommends Christian Science Monitor.
  • Explain to your child that certain occupations require relocating, says eHow. If your child doesn’t want to relocate, that may help narrow his search.
  • Sometimes your child may be able to narrow his choices down to general areas, like marketing or management. Rasmussen College explains how to further define which field to go into based on information about both fields.


Ask Questions

These 10 sites are packed with questions and answers to commonly asked questions regarding different careers. Finding answers to these important questions may help your child determine if the job he thought he wanted is the right one after all.

Take a Test

Your child can take some fun aptitude tests on these 10 sites to help narrow down his career choices based on his interests and strengths.

  • If your child isn’t sure what he wants to do, you may want to recommend that he take an interest test on Future Morph to help narrow the field a bit.
  • Often, personality plays a role in finding the career that is right for your child. Encourage your child to take a personality test at Team Technology.
  • Make it a game. Show your child the MU Career Center site where he can play a game to match interests and skills with various careers.
  • What Career is Right for Me has an aptitude test that allows your child to self-assess his skills and determine jobs that might interest him.
  • Get your child to take the True Colors Career Personality Quiz to see what type of person he is and where his strengths lie.
  • Your child’s career values also play a role in determining a career path. Suggest that he take the career value test on Stewart, Cooper and Coon.
  • Help your child figure out what career would be right for him by taking the Type test shown on Career Test.
  • Ask your child to take a few minutes and answer the questions on the Jung Typology test on Human Metrics to determine his personality and jobs that might fit him.
  • This five-minute Color Quiz may help your child learn something useful about his personality that he can then utilize to find a career.
  • Let your child try the fun skill test on Skill Cow to determine what job he is meant to have.

Make a Plan

Once you have a general idea about the career path that’s right for your child, it’s time to map out a career plan. While this plan will likely change and evolve as he gets older, it will also serve as a road map he can use to obtain his desired career. Find sample career plans, ideas and suggestions in these 10 articles.

  • As a parent, you can invest in your child by buying something like the Kuder Navigator that will help you and your child plan a career path.
  • You can find assistance on making a career plan with your child by reading School A to Z.
  • It’s important that you help your child focus on his values and needs when making a career plan, explains Duke Tip.
  • You might find the career planning checklist for parents from CSBSJU useful when helping your child figure out what he wants to do with his life.
  • Kansas City Kansas Public Schools offers 10 steps for parents that will allow them to make a career plan with their child.
  • Learn how you can help your child with his career plan. Massey University explains that you will have many roles over the years as a parent.
  • According to Yahoo Voices, it is becoming increasingly important to have a career plan for your child at a relatively early age.
  • School Counselor explains that kids are influenced by their parent’s job experiences and by what opportunities might open up for your kids due to your job.
  • As a parent, it’s important to keep an open mind and to not push your own agenda on your child. You can find more tips for helping with your child’s career plan on Career Cruising.
  • On Café College you can find a sample career plan that will provide you and your child with a visual on how to set up a career plan.

Build a Strong Work Ethic

Having a strong work ethic is integral to your child’s career success; however developing one isn’t always easy to do. Use these 10 blogs to help cultivate a solid work ethic in your child.

  • Develop useful habits with your child that will translate to the future, such as cleaning up after himself and taking care of the dog, suggests Mom Me.
  • It’s important to give your child chores, according to Child Development Institute, because it can help him learn a strong work ethic.
  • Parents can teach kids to have a strong work ethic by modeling it, teaching it and rewarding it, says Everyday Life.
  • Getting kids who grew up with money to learn a work ethic can be difficult, so The Wall Street Journal recommends making them get a summer job or live on a budget.
  • Start early by teaching your child to pick up after himself and do chores around the house. Hold the kids accountable for the things you ask them to do, suggests Crosswalk.
  • Take the time to explain why working around the house is an important part of being a member of the family, says Better Homes and Gardens.
  • When building a work ethic, you will have to give tasks to your kids that they may not do well at in the beginning. When this happens it’s important to have patience and tolerance, explains Keeper of the Home.
  • Work alongside your child when they are working so they can see that you are working too, advises Education in America.
  • Let your kids fail. Encourage your kids to work hard, and let them suffer the consequences if they don’t, advises iMom.
  • Nobody said that work can’t be fun. The Kenworth suggests letting your kids use My Chore Chart, which is an app that makes doing chores fun.

Learn Career Tools

Writing a cover letter, formulating a resume, composing a formal email and acing an interview are all essential tools your child will need to learn before he starts pursuing a career. Take a look at these 10 blogs for more information on how to learn these useful skills.

  • Your child will need to learn how to write an effective cover letter; Vanderbilt University explains how.
  • Writing a resume that will land your child a job can be difficult; find the tools to do so on Career Kids.
  • There are many components to a resume; VUMI explains 10 vital things to include.
  • Microsoft offers online and classroom training for various software programs that you may need during your job search.
  • With the Path 2 Careers site your child can discover jobs that may exist in the future.
  • On Snag a Job your teen can learn the skills to do well in an interview by knowing what to expect and how to be prepared.
  • Interviews can be tough, so having a site like Education that details the entire interview process can be useful.
  • In this age of technology, your child will need to know how to send a business e-mail to colleges, prospective internships and more. Check out South University for tips on sending an appropriate e-mail.
  • Getting an internship is a great way to try out a career. Use Intern Match to help your child find a suitable one.
  • The tools on Check Out a College can help your child explore careers, find a college and get started in the right direction.

Learn to Network

According to Wake Forest University, 70% of jobs are obtained through networking, which is a compelling reason to learn how to network well. These 10 articles will give you and your child some tips for how to get started and how to be successful at networking.

  • Encourage your child to read the article How to Network Like a Pro on Business Insider.
  • Read Internships to break networking down into actionable steps your child can follow to start networking immediately.
  • This article from New York Times explains the mutual benefits of networking.
  • One important part of networking, according to Business Balls, is creating an ‘elevator speech’ that explains who your child is and lists his strengths.
  • Chapman University explains the importance of listening to others and leaving a good impression while you network.
  • When networking, your child will need to make sure that he reaches out to people in as many social or business circles as possible, says CIO.
  • Your child’s instructors are important to include when networking because they are already well-versed in their particular field, explains Loyola.
  • Make sure that your child knows what he is looking for when he starts networking. If he is vague or unfocused when he calls people, he could leave a bad impression, warns Help Guide.
  • Before networking, it’s important to make sure that your child is well informed about the industry, advises Emory.
  • You’ll find several tips for networking in college on this article from US News.
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