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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.

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