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Aug 24, 2012

Helping Teens Look Ahead to Careers

Diane Kummer

   During the high school years, you may want to carve out some time to guide your teen in thinking about his/her future career.  What would be helpful and where do you start?

   Gene Edward Veith’s book, God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, is a good book for parents to read in order to lead your teen in seeing his God-given talents and God-given personality. Careers that best utilize your teen’s skills can then be focused on. 

   In order to help your teen narrow down the choices, consider designing and offering your teen a Career Development elective course.  A Career Development course can give your teen an opportunity to research various careers, discover the training or education required for different occupations, and then to map out a road to meet his goals.  A career interest test may be helpful to focus your teens on those careers that may he may want to check into further.  HSLDA’s website lists a variety of career interest tests from those that offer a report of strengths/weaknesses to more comprehensive tests that include personal career consultation.

   You’ll find additional help by checking out these career resources and websites.

   As part of the Career Development course, give your teen the opportunity to explore a variety of careers that interest him by arranging some informal job shadowing opportunities.  These opportunities can be several days, or may last longer.  You may want to take one week out of each of the high school years to have your teen set up a different job shadowing experience.  For example, if your teen has an interest in being a financial planner, find a relative, friend, or acquaintance in the field and ask if your teen can tag along for a week.  Your teen can keep a journal of the week, write up a report on the field and job trends, and then write down some thoughts regarding whether or not the job still interests him after seeing the job “up close and personal.”

   The Lord has blessed your teen with talents and abilities that will one day be used to honor Him and to serve others.  A Career Development elective course may be the catalyst needed to motivate your teen to begin thinking about his future plans!

-Diane

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