Excerpt from The Parents’ Guide to Career Planning for Your Twentysomething.”
“That’s up to him.”
So said a very well-meaning set of baby-boomer parents simultaneously. We were discussing their seventeen-year-old son Kevin and what he might want to study in college.
Kevin looked and sounded completely bewildered. While he was encouraged to do whatever he wanted, Kevin had no context to understand the work world. High school curriculums provide the bare minimum exposure to potential career options. Kevin’s life experience was that of a typical sheltered suburbanite. Like many teens, he didn’t really understand what his parents did for work. When asked, he responded, “My Dad travels a lot for business but I’m not sure what he does and my mom works in an office.” His response was fairly typical. Outside of the professions that they see in person—doctor, nurse, teacher, policeman, fireman and so forth—young adults have a limited understanding of careers unless they are educated by their parents.
I am almost finished with my new book titled above. While my work with students on the college counseling and test prep front continues, my career counseling work has increased significantly. You have no doubt heard the abundant tales of twentysomethings who are failing to find career traction. The question for you: when should I start the career discussion?
The answer is easy: before you invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into college!