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If your child is at the career cross road December 3, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, career guidance and counselling.
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If your child is at the career cross road

Recently I attended a marriage reception. These wedding parties sometimes give you the feel of getting stranded at a fuel station. You have to stand in the long queue near the stage and wait for your turn to greet the newlywed couple!  It was 9.00 pm in the late evening and I was somehow killing time in the queue. I was anxious to dispose-off the bouquet at the earliest.

I realized someone was throwing a smile at me. It was the parent of one of the school student who had once upon a time appeared for a career guidance & counseling session with me in my office. On that very spot, standing in the queue, the concerned parents threw rapid fire round of questions at me. Sir, I want to see my daughter as an engineer, can you tell us which all colleges outside our state should we target? How should she be preparing for the examinations? Some study tips from you will really be helpful for my daughter to excel in her career, so on and so forth…..

I could see the agony in the eyes of the child. After a while I could even register a sense of embarrassment on the face of the kid. Definitely she did not want to be bothered on career selection and study tips while in the party. Any child will not like this. Parent of this student were a bit too concerned about her career. Excess concern borders paranoia. 

Many parents complain about their child’s education & career consciousness in multiple variants. A few shared here: “My child does not share his interests with me.”, “I am ready to help him but he is never keen to take our support.”, “The child is introvert at home and extrovert in school.”, “He is so stubborn when it comes to career selection and does not give us a damn.”.  

If your child is at a career crossroad she is at a very sensitive career stage. It is really rightful for the parent to be bothered about their ward’s career. It is also of utmost importance to respect the child’s individuality and give her space. I have observed that in the process of imparting right career directions to their children many parents intrude into their creativity and independence. Such attempts either miss fires or worst back fires. Such illegitimate intrusions are harmful not just for the child and the parent but also for the society.

Too much involvement in child’s career building process is equally harmful as too less involvement is. Some parents make an open offer to their children. They say, “Go ahead and do whatever you want to, we will support you”.  This decision to respect the child’s decision is really good but not really fruitful. It is the moral responsibility of the parent to first suggest a few career options and then ask the child to make a career choice. It is vital to note at this stage that before making any suggestion, child should be thoroughly accessed on interest, aptitude and abilities. Careers matching with these parameters should then be suggested to the child. If required support of professional counselors should necessarily be sought.

As per one survey an average student in India spends not more than 4 hours throughout the school life planning for life’s career decisions. Majority of the students are simply not aware of the various career options available in the society!   On the contrary they spend more than 20 hours on selecting the bike / scooty and about 50 hours selecting a house.

Career decision has a big significance in one’s life. Students should be encouraged to think on the following questions while they are crossing the middle school : “What should I do in my life?”, “what is my career inspiration”,  “what are my most liked and most disliked career streams”, “How & when should I plan my career?” When the student starts addressing these questions, we can be sure that she has started climbing the ladder of career success.

I believe that every single student has the potential to become successful in life. Parents should play the role of a light house & a guide post. They should shower enough light for the child to take a leap and also warn when there is danger.  Their support & guidance should enable the student to take informed career decisions & prepare well for future.

LESSONS FOR EXCELLENCE :

  • Failing to plan for child’s career is nothing but planning to see your child fail in her career.
  • In the process of guiding your child please ensure that you guard her self esteem. Irrelevant tinkering into her aspiration will only make her restless, insecure and insincere.
  • It is important for the parent to be self aware about career choices and be confidant about happenings in life, only then the child will inculcate these attributes.
  • Over indulgence by parent into child’s choices might display lack of trust. Beware.
  • Law of career success states that the child should select the career which she is desperate for and not the one which her parents were ambitious for at some point of time.

 

By : Ajit Varwandkar

Feedback : md@fsindia.in

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