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How Parents Can Help

We advise parents to take an active role in supporting their student in the career development process. Parents have a unique opportunity to encourage open communication with their student about career decisions, deciding on a major and exploring career options. It is vital for parents to be patient and supportive through this process, along with raising questions and issues regarding career interests. Be sure to encourage your student to gain career related experience through internships and cooperative education opportunities prior to graduation.

Encouraging Students’ Career Interests and Exploration

Asking the right questions can help your student think through issues and provide the support and encouragement they need. Some questions to ask include:

  • What do you consider your biggest accomplishments? Which of your activities do you enjoy the most? What achievement or activity has made you feel most proud of your efforts?
  • Which college classes have you enjoyed the most? Why? Are they the courses where you’ve earned the best grades?
  • How would you describe the ideal job for you?
  • When do you have to declare a major?
  • Have you talked with your academic adviser and a career counselor about choosing a career? What was their advice?
  • What majors are you considering? Why these?
  • What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of career choices/majors that you are considering?
  • Do you think you are likely to do well academically in this particular major?
  • Which major or majors do you think would best prepare you for your career goals?
  • Have you taken classes to develop your computer, writing and presentation skills?
  • Which electives do you think would best compliment your major?
  • Have you considered using Co-op or Internships electives to gain experience and test your major?
  • How would some of your career options affect other aspects of your life, such as family, hobbies, and volunteer work?

 

For More Information...

The information listed above can be found in  The Parent’s Crash Course in Career Planning by Marcia B. Harris & Sharon L. Jones, 2007. (ISBN #: 978-0-6151-6337-6)

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