How To Help Your Child Find Their Passion
by Get Career Guidance on Jul 25, 2023
You know how kids are. They’re constantly changing their minds about what they want to be when they grow up. But when they hit high school, things start to get real. They’ll start to figure out what they’re really into, whether it’s sports, history, or something totally different. And that’s when they’ll begin exploring various career path options.
This time in their lives can be fun, but it can also be a little scary. There are so many options out there, and it can be hard for your child to know what they really care about or what they might be good at. They may have a lot of interests that clash with each other. Or they may feel pressure to choose a practical career over what they love. As a parent, you might be feeling the stress of the unknown. You want to set your kid up for future success, but how exactly do you do that or help them make the right choices? How can you help your child find their passion?
It’s normal to feel frustrated and unsure about all of this. But if you work with your child and face these obstacles head-on, you can help them find a fulfilling career path.
Why is Passion Important for Career Exploration for Teens?
Ever heard the saying, ‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life’? While it may not be entirely accurate, finding work you love is still a heck of a lot more enjoyable than grinding away at a job you hate. A 2015 study found that following your passion lowers stress and contributes to overall happiness.
High school is an excellent time for your child to start exploring their passions and figuring out what they want to do as a career. From their regular coursework to extra-curricular activities, they have plenty of opportunities to help them find out what subjects they love the most and are most interested in.
For example, we’re sure you’re familiar with Bill Gates, the creator of Microsoft. Long before that, he was an aspiring programmer so passionate about computer programming that he got permission to skip math class and work on designing early video games in the eighth grade.
We can’t promise these tips will help your kid become the next tech billionaire. But there’s no telling where following a passion could lead. The sky is truly the limit!
Here are five different ways parents can help young adults find purpose and passion.
1. Foster Self-Exploration
Push them to try new things and step out of their comfort zone. You can also support them by asking open-ended questions that get them thinking deeply and reflecting on their experiences. Lastly, remember to model self-exploration yourself. Let your children see you learning how to discover your career passion. Take time for your interests and hobbies, and be open to new experiences to show them that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
2. Build Up Their Resume
Whether it’s volunteering, interning, or working part-time, these experiences can give your student a taste of different fields and industries. Plus, they’ll build up some transferable skills and make connections that could be helpful down the road.
You can help your kid get their first job (without ‘helicoptering’) by pointing them to online job tools that can help them create a resume and cover letter, role playing interview scenarios, and sharing tips on workplace etiquette.
3. Help Them Research and Find Resources Online
There are tons of online resources, workshops, and experts out there who can offer valuable insights into different careers. For example, our custom career guide is an assessment tool that helps students identify their strengths and interests. It’s an excellent starting point for exploring potential career options and can help them narrow their choices.
4. Support Their Academic Freedom and Flexibility
Let your child know it’s okay to take electives that align with what they love, even if they don’t directly relate to their desired career. Exploring interests outside their planned career path could also open some unexpected doors and lead to a more well-rounded and rewarding college experience.
For example, art, music, or English classes can help them develop creativity and critical thinking skills that they can apply to any job. Additionally, electives in fields like psychology, sociology, or anthropology will teach them about human behavior and social dynamics, which applies to any career that involves interacting with people.
5. Make Room for Evolution
It’s normal for your high schooler’s interests and passions to change as they get older. Let them know it’s okay to try new things and make mistakes, as these experiences will teach them a lot about who they are and what they’re genuinely passionate about. Career exploration is a journey, so reassure them that it’s okay to discover their interests at their own pace.
Guiding Your High School Student in Career Planning and Passion Exploration
Helping your kid figure out what they want to do with their life is not exactly a straightforward assignment, but the key is to be patient and supportive. Motivate them to try new things, do a little self-discovery (our career guide tool can help!), research careers that interest them, and connect with people who can help guide them.
Lastly, let them know that discovering their passion is a process, not a box they can quickly check off. But they don’t have to go through it alone. You’re on their side and will support them every step of the way.