How can you help your teen choose the right career? An expert weighs in

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Father having a discussion with his son.
Father having a discussion with his son.
Getty images

You have a purposeful role to play in your child’s future career. The emphasis here is on the word “purposeful”. This journey belongs to your child, the learner, and they should be the driver and core decision-maker in this process. This doesn’t strip you of your parental/guardian duties – your role in this regard is a very important one as you act as an advisor and guide through each step. But the final career choice will be one your child must live and cope with. These three steps are a snapshot of the elements that can go into a high school learner’s career decision.

STEP 1 Self-awareness: values, interests, personality and strengths (VIPS)

Before any career discussion takes place the learner has to have a good level of self-awareness, and be able to answer questions like, who am I and what do I enjoy doing? These may seem like very basic questions, but they play a crucial role in making career decisions. The questions about “self” that will have a direct impact on assisting the learner to make a career decision include their values, interests, personality and strengths (the VIPS).

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