Copyright © 2022 Hannes Wessels Therapist & Educational Psychologist
I often consult with clients who are worried about the fact that their high school child does not know what they want to do or become after school.
Often this becomes a great source of conflict within the family system. This is a real concern.
Parents just want the best for your child. You want them to flourish after school. So I thought that I will share 4 career myths that I believe can change this.
Myth 1 – There is one perfect job for my child.
Fact: Your child can find a variety of fulfilling careers. Currently, your child’s career is expected to span about 60 years, and he/she will probably change careers about 5 times and change jobs about 17 times. This means a change in their career path every 3,5 years!
During their career span, their interests, life roles and economic circumstances are bound to change, which will impact their career paths and decisions. Technological innovation is also bound to disrupt various industries, which will impact career trajectories significantly.
Myth 2 – My child’s degree is going to be their career.
Fact: American statistics show that about 27% of graduate students have jobs related to their degree, and in the UK it is reported that half of all graduates are working in a field that relates to their degree after leaving university. Importantly, 96% of these UK students changed to a different career after the age of 24.
This implies that the probability that your child will work in the same career field as tertiary level qualification is not very high. It does not mean that their time will be wasted. Their qualification can teach them a skill set that will allow them to design their career. You can read more about the predicted needed skill sets for the future at this link.
Myth 3 – By now my child should know what they want to study.
Fact: This may be true for some, but most university students change their majors and career focuses many times during college. Most students switch degrees 3 to 5 times during university.
Just think about it. If their career lifespan is going to be 60 years. Is it really that fair to expect children to know what they want to do for the next 60 years of their life at the age of 18?
Myth 4 – My child needs to find their passion to be happy in their career
Fact: It is not necessarily true that you have to find your passion to be happy. Often this perception causes inaction, which is more detrimental to a person’s career growth. It is important that a person likes what they do. If you are very lucky you can make your passion into a career. If you don’t find your passion, it does not mean that you can’t like what you do. What is important is to find a career that parallels your self-construction, this includes.
How does knowing this help you?
By addressing these myths it can help change perceptions about career and open’s the communication with your child. This allows you to talk about opportunities that excite them, and empathetically listen to they are constructing their identity. It can allow your child to focus on developing the skills they need to flourish after school. This is exactly what the life design career counselling aims to do.
During the process it allows a person to really reflect and discover how they are busy crafting their identity and then discover which career journey will compliment this. Read more about this process in my career counselling article.