Itâ€™s really, really hard to write the big checks for college tuition and not â€śencourageâ€ť your child to make firm plans for after college... to pick a career right away, preferably one which will pay back student loans, establish financial bedrock, guarantee future security, and make a positive contribution to the world!
Iâ€™m going to ask you not to do that. Your kids know theyâ€™ll be graduating one day. They know theyâ€™ll need a job. They really do know that you are concerned and that you want to help.
But right now they are about to enter a new environment, meet new people and learn new things, all of which will help prepare them for making good decisions about how to best use the talents and gifts God has given them. They need to lay this groundwork, before they make firm plans for the future.
There are positive ways you can contribute to your childâ€™s decision making process, even now:
1) Information. As your child considers alternative careers, offer to â€śconnectâ€ť him or her to people who have a similar position. Talking to someone in the field can be tremendously helpful in making wise decisions.
2) Experience. The most useful thing you can do is to encourage your child to get experience in the area in which he or she is most interested. Maybe heâ€™ll like it, maybe she wonâ€™t .. this is what they need to know, the earlier the better.
3) Encouragement. If your child is feeling anxious about career choices at any time, you may want to encourage talking with a career counselor. We have interest â€śtestsâ€ť and much experience in helping students sort through career options and pick majors. Not only that, we like to do it!
The fact is, (almost) all our students find something useful and even interesting to do, not long after graduation. So DO enjoy the quiet, while we enjoy your child!
Sarah Todd, M.Ed.
Director for Talent and Carer Development