Frequently Asked Questions
- When is it too early to talk to my son about careers because mine has no direction?
I wrote this article for an SAT prep company in Boston. Now, I’m guessing you’ve already said, “you should be a…” (doctor, lawyer, teacher) a few times, to your child. After all, you know them the best, understand their personality traits and have a bigger view of the world.
When we work with your child on their career direction we utilize several cognitive tools to guide their interests and current direction.
But just because they’re good at arguing, negotiating and persuading, doesn’t necessarily mean they will make a good lawyer. In fact, all it means is that their Ego Drive is strong, i.e. their desire to bring people around to their way of thinking. Sometimes you can chalk this up to hormones and adolescence, but it can also be part of their innate personality. Ego Drive is one of the personality traits observed and researched in the Caliper Profile, one of the assessments we offer our clients as they try to ‘figure out what they want to be when they grow up.’ We also use it with young professionals as they launch and manage their careers. Another personality trait is Ego Strength, aka Resilience, i.e. the ability to handle rejection and accept criticism in a manner that is positive and growth oriented. If you find your child taking things personally when rejected or challenged, and not recovering quickly, chances are their resiliency is low. Again, this can come from a lack of confidence based on their age or current situation, but it could also just be part of their nature.
If your student has expressed an interest in figuring out what major they want to study, or have chosen a major already, keep the conversation going. In high school there is no such thing as a bad idea, even when it involves a career path that you don’t agree with, or don’t see them in at that moment. Keeping your child motivated to explore their ideas more is very important; it can actually motivate them to study harder and get engaged with school activities, internships and even part-time jobs. And, the more questions they are asking the more opportunity you will have to help guide their decisions.
We have been helping teens and young adults find their passion, uncover majors and discover career paths for 15 years. It is both an art and a science: taking personality, values, interests and hard skills into account, but also instinct, soft skills and intuition.
College is expensive, and changing majors can be a waste of time and money without the type of guidance that we provide. Colleges love to hear that a student has given their future some thought and I can help them uniquely interject that information into their applications. And employers want to hear that the candidate knows themselves and their goals before hiring them for an internship or a job which is why this information is critical to building a career.
If you are struggling to help your child apply to college, build their resume or find a good career/job fit please call. We can work together to set-up strategies and plans to ensure your child makes the most of this critical time in their lives.