How to Help Your Child Choose a Career Path

The way your child goes about choosing their career may be completely different what you did. These days, even the way people get hired looks nothing like it used to. Online portfolios and digital resumes now outnumber traditional paper copies. What’s more is that even the way people find jobs is nothing like it used to be. Now, it’s not uncommon to hear about a job opening on social media, even if it’s in the education field. 

That said, your child might be at a point where they’ve decided that they want to work in education, however, aren’t quite sure what path to take. While being a teacher is always a worthwhile endeavor, there are many other avenues they can pursue. If you’re not sure how you can help, this guide is for you. Read on to learn tips on how you can help your child choose the right career path.

Open Lines of Communication

Talking about most things with a teenager can seem like an uphill battle, doesn’t it? In between trying to fit in and find their place in the world, it’s not uncommon for them to be closed off a bit and not really want to go into detail, especially with their mom or dad. While this can be a little off-putting, you need to remember that they still look to you for guidance. 

Asking open-ended questions as opposed to demanding answers is a great way to get the conversation going. You can if they’ve been able to research the possible positions online, if any of their friends’ older siblings work in the field or if they want to attend career functions at their high school. Once they open up, you can use that information to guide them in the right direction.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

A little bit of empathy can go a long way, so try to think about how they’re feeling. If they know you’ve been having financial problems, they may feel awkward talking about needing help financing their education. If you were them, wouldn’t you wonder how you could get the money you need without needing outside help? 

You’d want to know if you could get the money on your own, or whether you’d need your parents to help. In general, most students do require a cosigner when applying for a loan. They may be too young or haven’t had time to establish their credit just yet. That’s why talking about their financial options for college needs to be done in advance. That way, they won’t be worried that they won’t have the money they need. It’ll also give them the incentive to apply to college without thinking it’s a lost cause.

Current college students may be looking to refinance their loans to save money and get better interest rates. However, those who recently graduate college don’t typically have their credit built up enough. As a result, you’ll need the assistance of a cosigner to refinance. But you need to be certain the cosigner’s credit is stable. Refinancing student loans with a bad credit cosigner can cause a lot of issues. You may not get the interest rates you were hoping for, or you could potentially be rejected even with a cosigner.

Encourage Placement Testing

In some cases, your child might be able to take placement testing to help them decide. Doing so will help them determine both the strengths and weaknesses before they choose a degree program. They’ll also be able to focus on ways to improve any weaknesses they may have, such as needing a refresher in English or Math.

Help Them Find Internships

If they already know which direction they want to go, encourage them to find appropriate internships. There are always summer internships where they can experience what it would be like to work in that role. They can use that experience as part of their resume or even use what they’ve learned to choose another path. They might even be able to earn some extra cash as well.

Encourage Them to Network

Networking is a very important aspect of everyone’s career. A network is basically a web of meaningful contacts that help your child succeed in their career. Granted, you don’t want your child to include anyone. These people need to both safe and provide value to your child’s success. It can be you, a successful family member, and even their college professor. Another thing you want to do is encourage your child take opportunities when they arrive.