Linkages with Child Well-being and Growth
Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.
Planning does not make things happen, certainly encourages things to happen
You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream
These are few of my all-time favourite quotes when I talk to students and my coachees about career planning, the importance you must give it as early as possible and other related topics. I like these because they push you to have a plan, research across the years has constantly been emphasizing the need to do focused career planning. Yet our apprehensions make us stay away from going down this path. Our apprehensions of the process restricting us, the process confusing us with too many choices or just that our parents did not have these fancy options of career planning and they managed just fine.
Career planning we must remember does not mean that your plan gets written in stone but it definitely gives you a path to walk on. It’s like how you can decide to go driving and ask nobody on the road for directions nor follow the GPRS and then live with the decision and may have to do some off-road driving, drive through villages or meet a dead-end along the way. Conversly, if you had chosen to take the support of getting directions you have so much more time and resources to explore and enjoy the ride and do much less stressful problem solving even if you get a little lost along the way. Your individual career planning is like the GPRS guided car ride.
Individual career planning (Zlate, 2004) can browse through five steps:
1. Exploring opportunities involves gathering information about existing opportunities
2. Making decisions and setting goals in the short and long term for training requirements, change of job/department
3. Planning consists of determining ways and means of achieving goals, ordering their actions to achieve them, considering its consequences, setting deadlines and resource requirements
4. Pursuit of achievement goals, action by the individual accounting for his successes and failures and make decisions to retain or change career course.
5. Self-assessment is the collection of information about yourself (values, interests, skills), continuous assessment and reporting to others
In the modern world, the ever-changing tapestry of work and work profiles makes it important to add a step to this process and that is the significance of having career conversations with our children. When should you have them would be the most obvious question that needs to be answered? My son is 12 and my conversations with him have already begun. Why? would be the next question and here is my checklist for why conversations are important :
These help my son prepare for the challenges ahead in the Industry 4.0 world that none of us knows very much about - We do a lot of googling and researching together
Helps develop his skills and have the capability to manage his own career in future - modern job skills include self-directed learning, collaboration and reflective thinking and we do it all.
I have noticed since we have started having these base-level conversations my son is more relaxed and less uncertain about his future -you will be surprised once you start talking to them how much burden they carry on their shoulders
Keeps me updated with new careers in the market - I now know the following careers exist and inputs all from my son ( fashion influencer, esports coach, agronomist). Pardon my ignorance !!
So, what triggered my belief that I need to reach out and talk about my learnings and this career conversion journey?
A month or so ago we were planning a webinar on Career Planning and we decided to find out more about the pulse of thought processes of adults (read parents) about career and career planning. We, therefore, put out some poll questions on Linkedin. Some of the findings were very telling.
We asked the #linkedinfam what were factors that determined their career choice and this is the response we received.
I am not interpreting this information here and leaving it to the best judgment of the readers. But I do want to leave everyone with the following.
As Mark Twain said the secret of getting ahead is getting started. Our children need us to trust them, talk to them and help them find the right path based on their interests, aptitude personalities & even EQ. If we need professional help to find that path it doesn’t mean we are not doing enough for our children. It simply means you are cognizant of the fact that the world outside is changing, a lot of what we knew may not exist in the next 5 years maybe even 3 years, given that the pandemic has time-crunched everything.
As you make these conversations, you will realize that children will have so much more to tell you than the answers they expect from you. What they expect you to do is have a listening ear and validate their thoughts. These conversations will do wonders to their and your well-being as with the uncertainty gone away both of you will be able to spend your resources on actual action.
So, if you are a parent of a child who is 12+ go have your first career conversation today and enjoy the experience.
You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com