How does one get educated about the work world?
It used to be that children were built-in apprentices to their parents’ work world. Fathers who were farmers, blacksmiths, draftsman and so forth would bring their sons along to learn their trade. Mothers, whether for paid work or not, taught their daughters cooking, cleaning, sewing and so forth.
This was true for the higher professions as well as families of accountants, physicians, and lawyers spanned generations.
This changed as the world became more complex and more mobile.
Working for corporations and large organizations created many jobs that could not be taught to children and would not make any sense outside the context of the organization. It would be hard to teach anyone about the T.P.S. reports that you need to generate every month.
When I talk with young people about what their parents do, the most common response is vague. My mom works in business.” Or my favorite “My Dad works in an office.”
As a parent, what should you do?
Action Step 1:
Tell your child what you and/or your spouse do for work. Even if he or she is bored and uninterested. At the very least, your child should learn more about the work world of his or her parents. Explain each of your paths and how you wound up doing what you are doing. Explain the pros and cons.
Then, explain other jobs of which you have personal knowledge. Perhaps you work closely with those in sales or business development. Sure, there are some parts of this discussion that will go over the head of your child. But, that’s ok. The discussion has started.
Then, discuss other careers in your family or among your close friends.
Action Step 2
From there, give your child a general career book so he or she can see various careers. And, to the best of your ability tell him what you know.
Action Step 3
Reading. Fast Company, Inc. and Entrepreneur provide insights into the new world of work. Forbes, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal provide insight into big business.
Action Step 4
Volunteer your son or daughter to work locally. Any type of experience is good exposure to the work world.
If your child is already in college, then any opportunity to intern, job shadow, or volunteer should be taken.
Action Step 5
Start any type of business. Sell something on ebay or on Craig’s list. See how much money you can make from shoveling snow or cutting lawns. These small experiences leave a lasting impression on young minds.
Connecticut parents should remember that their children grow up in suburban bubble where they do not have many opportunities for internships or job shadowing. Spending some time showing your children different aspects of the world of work will serve them well.
Visit Career Counseling Connecticut to learn more.