Friday, September 9, 2016

Encouraging Kids in Career Exploration

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

Encourage Kids in Career Exploration [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
This Bureau of Labor Statistics website helps
 kids explore career interests and options.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut or a writer. I enjoyed writing. I spent hours in my bedroom with a legal pad and pen, writing in longhand everything from poems to school reports. When I was in 8th grade, I received encouragement from my teacher to keep writing. I put my astronaut musings aside when I realized they weren’t compatible with my motion sickness. In high school, I worked on the school newspaper. I continued to get guidance and positive comments on my writing.

When I went to college, my choice of a major was easy because my career choice was already clear. My first job after college and every job after it had writing at its core. My career path was built on the encouragement I received from one person when I was 13 to keep writing.

If you have children and teens in your life, consider how you may be able to inspire their career interests, exploration, and development. You don’t have to be a teacher or career coach—just someone who listens and cares.

One way to get kids interested in the giant world of career choices is to refer them to a U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics website with career videos, interactive career games, and career exploration tools. Also please see my Shy Job Seeker post, Letter to Shy Young Person in Search of a Calling.

Whenever I have the opportunity, I encourage kids, teens, and young adults in their career interests and career exploration. I ask questions, listen, suggest career ideas, find resources for them to review, and most of all praise their desire to find a fitting career path for now, knowing it may well change later. Perhaps I can pay it forward and be the person who guides them to a satisfying career path.

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