Seeking the guidance of a career counselling expert to help your child choose her career? Here’s how to make the best use of your session.
By Arundhati Swamy
One of the most important decisions a teenager has to make is about his future career. Today, your child can choose from innumerable mainstream as well as alternative career paths. However, his options are limited when it comes to choosing the right stream at Grade 12.
While some students know exactly what they want to do and where they want to go, others are clueless about what career path they want to follow. This is when a career advisor plays a crucial role in a child’s life and leads her onto the path of professional success.
Career counselling offers children a more systematic and thoughtful way of making a better choice for themselves. Career information offers factual data about the subjects available, course content, job requirements and the opportunities available. Career guidance enables deep inner exploration to understand their core interests, family influences, aptitude, personality, skills and attitudes. These elements can be combined to derive a personal career profile, which will help the students choose subjects and a career which they are more likely to enjoy and find satisfying in the long term.
Career guidance uses a scientific approach to map an individual’s career profile. It offers students information and support in making choices and leads them from conflict and confusion to clarity about what they truly want to do in life. Most importantly, it gets them actively involved in making a major decision. When they love the work they do, they are motivated, energised and confident, and will seize any opportunity that comes their way.
Before you take your child to a career counselling expert, be very clear about your goals and your expectations from the session. Here are some questions you should consider.
Analyse your reasons for seeing a career consultant
The next step is to prepare yourself for the meeting. Here’s how you can go about it.
Prepare for the meeting
Prepare your child for aptitude assessments
First of all, as a parent, you should help your child understand the difference between aptitude and interest. Also, explain to her what an aptitude assessment is. It measures a person’s cognitive or thinking skills. The scores indicate how well the child can grasp concepts in various subjects. These inputs are combined with a student’s core interests and career profile to create a career path that is most likely to be suitable for him. Often, there is a high correlation between the two.
The session will fulfil one of two purposes:
1. Career information – You will learn about the subjects available, the schools or colleges that offer them, entrance and competitive exams, admission requirements, etc.
2. Career planning – Your child will undergo a formal career planning process. The one-hour session at the career counselling centre will be an introductory session to understand her and her needs. This will help the counsellor explain how he would be able to help her and what tools he would use to help her plan her career path.
If approaching a top career counsellor isn’t possible, you can also go in for online career counselling for your child.
Ultimately, help your child choose the path best suited for her. Don’t impose your decisions on her in any way. She needs to find her way and carve a niche for herself on her own terms.
About the author:
Written by Arundhati Swamy on 25 April 2018.
Arundhati Swamy is a family counsellor and Head of the Parent Engagement Program at ParentCircle.
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