HELPING your children manage their own career expectations is one of the best means of support you can offer as a parent. Nowadays it is wise to encourage youngsters to set shorterterm career goals rather than long-term, definitive ones. This is because long-term goals can limit their mindset and confine the opportunities they jump on throughout their employment lifecycle. As a parent, you should stress the importance of their career aspirations remaining fluid. Having set expectations such as ‘‘ I only want to be a lawyer’’ is often unattainable with the resulting angst. ENCOURAGE children to follow their interests and innate capabilities and skills. People tend to excel or do well in activities that provide a great deal of satisfaction and occupy them fully. ‘‘ Flow’’, a term to describe when we lose ourselves in time, enables us to have sustained concentration. When immersed in an activity, motivation is high as are productivity and learning results. This positive psychology concept applies to children and adults. Allow children to explore a variety of learning experiences to give them scope to find the things they enjoy and feel more confident in.
ANNE-MARIE DOLAN HR Leader, Australian Human Resources Institute
THE best thing to encourage in kids today is to be adaptable and flexible. The rate of change is constantly increasing so it is important to have an open mind in relation to what you want to be when you grow up. There will be careers in 10 or 15 years’ time that no one has even imagined yet and some more traditional careers today will no longer exist. Young people should take every opportunity for development and to learn new skills in different areas to ensure their knowledge and experience remains relevant in the future. It is never too late to change your career path. MY CAREER adage is: up to 50 per cent of people are in the wrong job. People tend to get socialised into careers based upon parental expectations, university entrance marks or peer pressure. A significant number of people will wake up in their mid-30’s and say ‘‘ how did I get here?’’ and, more importantly, ‘‘ how do I get out of here?’’. Work motivation is driven by love and need so parents should encourage their kids to pursue their interests. It’s important for kids to be exposed to as many experiences as possible and, when they find something that interests them, encourage its development.