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When should parents talk of careers to their children?

by Vijay Garg
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Every mistake is a learning point, so sharing how we as adults made mistakes knowingly or unknowingly, learning from mistakes and that hiccups along the work time are vital for children’s personal growth
Self-discovery and the development of new skills, and talents are the way to educate children
Watching TV, movies and even meeting people from different professions are sources of inspiration for children about different professions. Starting conversations with young children as old as 5 years of age or in their kindergarten adds to their thinking process. Thoughts about their future careers, even base gender stereotyping about jobs and mirror professions in high regard similar to their parents’ views.
The big question arises as to what early message could be passed about the fascinating world of jobs. Well, it starts with your own career, how you as parents talk about the pros and cons of your day at work. Do you appear troubled, tired and stressed or are you portraying work-life balance, communicate with the family, speak of daily highs, things at your job you are thankful for and even connect with team members beyond work time? 
These subtle and hidden messages are the nuances that are how they create pictures of careers.  Is the world of work just something you must do to pay the bills? Surprisingly many teens and young adults are clueless about what their family members actually do in their workplace, their views about their jobs, or even if their parents are happy working in their current area of specialisation.
It boils down to the levels and layering of topics you cover, the pitfalls, challenges that were resolved at work and of course sharing big wins and being a good loser. When we as parents understand that social-emotional learning components such as emotional regulation, responsible decision making as well as relationship skills are the skills needed to be successful at jobs, then we build a pathway to success. As well as build a ground for future conversations. 
A growth -mindset build-up is essential too. Every mistake is a learning point, so sharing how we as adults made mistakes knowingly or unknowingly as well as humanise pitfalls, learning from mistakes and that hiccups along the work time are vital for their personal growth.
A gift we can give our children the tools to make their own informed decisions. 
Ways to influence children:
Having a strong, parent-child relationship 
Mirror socially, personally, and professionally skills and behaviour you wish your child to emulate. 
Perspective acceptance and acknowledgement, even if different from yours.
Attitude, expectations, and importance given by trusted adults create a map for children’s education, career, and life
The exposure and opportunities provided for the development
Do’s and don’ts of conversations on careers
Support yet not be rigid about the decision-making process
Give opportunities, time, and freedom to develop skills.
Motivation and growth mindset matter.
Support children with building teamwork, empathy, and communication skills.
Resilience is integral to being responsible work attitude.
You are a child’s first teacher, self-belief, and your words will have the biggest effect on your child.
Inspiration for various professions is all around us. Our local community helpers and even family holidays are ways that can lead to mutually beneficial conversations with your child about careers!
Consider what is around you in your local area that could prompt these conversations. As you walk or drive past, you could talk about all the different roles this could involve. Banks being visited, grocery stores, construction sites, and hospitals are ways to know about the different trades. For example, you and your child can discuss together how all the food and other goods got to the store, and who made that happen.
When you’re on holiday, the hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks are filled with people in careers your child might not have ever thought about before. ‘Imagineer’ and sommelier, gamers, are just a few new careers that could be brainstormed or researched as a family too.
Every decision creates a different life choice.  If this decision is heavily persuaded by parental preference, the child may end up following a vocation that, deep down, they aren’t interested in. Similarly, a presence of parental practical guidance and support are needed when pursuing interests to avoid poor choices.
Every child has a unique set of skills and aptitudes. Self-discovery, and the development of new skills, and talents are the way to educate children. Self-awareness rules so many decisions, including choosing subjects at school that lead to different professions.
Being proactive in this journey of discovering interests, skills and knowledge about careers is a continuum which starts early but continues until the early twenties. Parents’ support and not stressing or building pressure are ways ahead.

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