Recently, I saw the movie – ‘Day of Destiny’. Bankole’s words kept ringing in my head:
All my children will be lawyers.
Chidi had dropped out of Law School to study Music without informing his parents. Hearing this from him, his dad almost crashed the car.
Two days later, I was at a restaurant and I overheard a mum on the phone: “Software Engineering seems to be the best profession these days. I just enrolled my son in a coding school. What do you think?”
Immediately, she rolled her eyeballs.
What about the boy’s interest and passion?
She twitched her nose and answered:
Do you know how much Software Devs are earning? He doesn’t have a choice. He has to like it.
I know she means well for her child and Serena Williams’ retirement article shows just how much we want the best for our children; nudging them in the right direction always.
You may have gotten one of these pieces of advice before:
“Becoming this will bring prestige to the family.”
“Do you know how much this person is earning now?”
“It’s too risky. ”
“Do you want to end up like that person?”
“Don’t you like how happy that person is with his job?”
Bear in mind that choosing a career for your child is different from helping and guiding your child to choose a career.
Here are 6 tips to help your child choose a career.
Your child is not a means to achieve your dreams. A renowned Phonologist who has spent over forty years in the field of English Language lamented to me recently as he narrated how his children dashed his hopes of ever raising a phonologist or to expect the least, an English Language Educator. He was pained but he had to give in finally to his children’s interests.
He has his interests. That you are a doctor doesn’t mean your child would love to be one or keep the profession in the family. Be genuinely interested in your child’s interests and never tell them to lose their passion because it doesn’t interest you.
Expose your children to different things and note what stands out for them the most, what they enjoy, and how long they keep at it without struggling, being bored, or complaining. With this, you’ll discover their individual strengths and nudge them towards the career appropriate for them.
Does your child enjoy baking? Great! Look for baking professionals and let your child learn from them. Let him have a mentor in that field to guide him, correct his mistakes, and help him grow. If the professionals in this field are far away, try to establish that point of connection for mentorship by getting their books (if they have) or by reading up a lot about them.
Sharing innovative ideas, getting inspired, and growing can only happen for your child if he joins a community of his passion.Being in communities helps children to communicate better, solve conflicts, They can better form meaningful relationships and have positive experiences related to their field of interest. Whether it’s baking, tech, music, or any other field, challenge him to join and participate in such communities.
Those little eyes are always watching. Sounds cliché? Well, they are! They see the emotions you attach to your work. They know if you are excited at what you do or if you “drag yourself” to do what you do. Seeing you really enjoy your job will help your child understand that he can also do what he loves.
Remember when you were so little and your parents would ask you what you would like to become in the future? A doctor? A lawyer? A musician?
Did you become exactly that? Great!
For most of us, however, choosing a career is a journey of self-discovery. In itself, it’s a gradual process. Most times, childhood career fantasies get changed for more realistic options or they get refined in specific terms.
Maybe your child changed his mind about Baking. Remind him to be patient as he is still learning about himself and growing into the amazing person he will turn out to be.
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