2 Answers

Janice Kirn-Sottilaro Points0

"What did you like to play when you were very little?"

This is often a question I ask of students. Some tilt their head looking at me as though I was asking something very strange but the truth is we generally know or can remember what we were passionate about when we were young.

There is the child that is always reaching for Legos or Lincoln Logs and grows to be involved in designing at some level. There is the child that is always teaching that make-believe class that becomes a teacher or the one that is constantly invading a closet to play dress up who becomes associated with the field of fashion. Then there are children that bring home the stray animals who become vets and vet techs and some that you simply cannot pull away from books or begs to be read to who finds joy in attending their English class. Some children can not get enough of trucks and cars who work on the latest version of autos or tinkers on fixing them and children that can take apart almost anything and put it back together. Hand painting is fun for most children, but there are those that just can't put that paint down and of course there are many that live to be in the holiday plays or the chorus and on, and on we can go. The idea is we all had a passion once. As we grow we tend to either stick with that passion or go down a different road, a road that others tell us will lead to financial security.

The best thing you can do for your daughter is to have a conversation about what she used to like to do. Does she remember? Does she still like the idea of it? Can she envision her love of art turned into a career as perhaps, an art therapist? Often I have found that students are not aware of the careers that match their interests. I once had a young lady that simply loved horses. Not able to afford horse riding lessons she worked at a local stable every weekend and one day during the week in order to pay for lessons. She tried so hard to think of something to major in until I pointed out to her a type of therapy that finds individuals working with horses. Thrilled to know she could follow a love, something she was passionate about into adulthood and make a living at it, brought her so much joy.

Teaching students how to match interests to possible careers is a wonderful and exciting exercise for them. It can confuse them at times, but that's where we come in as the adults to help clear the confusion and introduce them to options, reassuring them that nothing is written in stone. After all, people have been known to change careers many times over their lifetime so they can entertain many, many options.

Click here to go the College Board's "Big Future Create Your Road Map" page which is an interest survey helping students to match their interests with possible careers.

Good Luck!

Janice Kirn-Sottilaro

Jennifer L. Severini-Kresock Points0
As a parent, you can seek and inquire about specific programs which expose students to various careers. Career fairs, shadowing experiences, camps are all excellent ways for students to learn if they would like to work in a specific career. There are also several on-line inventories which a student can take in a short time which may point him or her in the right direction. Parents who have relatives or friends in various careers may want to set up a meeting for the student to ask questions about a particular career. The help and advice of a college and career consultant can be invaluable in assisting with this dilemma.

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