Many parents believe getting the best post high school education means attending college. According to CBS This Morning (April 11, 2016), over 85% of the estimated three million high school seniors this year are expected to head to college. The reality is, many young people are heading to college to make mom and dad happy, fit in with their friends, or don’t know what else to do for the next four years!
There are Many Other Choices that are Often Overlooked
There are over 5,300 schools, from beauty colleges to Harvard. As parents, it’s important we teach our young adults the lifelong skills necessary to prepare, educate and pursue career and life choices that fit them, since they will have over 7 careers during their lifetime. Currently, low graduation rates, high debt loads and poor placement rates for jobs make it harder for millennials to get on a career path that is right for them, and is also financially rewarding. While financial success is important, remember, today’s financially rewarding careers may not be the same ones tomorrow.
Not everyone needs, or wants, to attend college to get a great education! They simply don’t know what else to do. It’s unfortunate that parents are more likely to spend money to help their kids develop skills in sports (hoping for an all-expense paid scholarship) then ensure their young person gets on a career path that fits them!
It’s important we listen to our kids since we are usually their #1 role model. One young man got a 4-year degree from a prestigious university and received a coveted job offer. His father was so proud — then was equally devastated (and, embarrassed) to learn his son was joining a missionary group for the next two years. The father hadn’t been listening to what his son had been trying to tell him for the past four years.
What can Parents Do?
Put aside your ego. Too often, we unconsciously focus on what would make us happy. We want to live (or relive) that time vicariously through them. We focus on the name of the school, type of degree or major, and other factors (e.g., sororities, fraternities, etc.) that we believe will make us proud. Set aside your ego. Today there are so many post high school choices it’s important to take the time to help your young person take an inventory of what they really really really want to do. This may include visiting different schools and ensuring the one they select will meet their needs. Or, help them get a job. Or, help them pursue other goals. For example, many young people with strong coding/technology skills and interests may wish to work with IoT (Internet of Things) startups. It’s their time to explore what will make them happy with your encouragement.
Education comes in many forms and will provide the opportunity for your young person to develop themselves and clarify what’s next in their career. Remember, life is a process not an event.
Help them set true goals. With 63 to 79 percent of the working population in jobs that don’t fit them, it’s important to use a qualified assessment* as part of their goal setting process. Too often, millennials have rose-colored glasses or tunnel vision when it comes to a particular profession. They base their career options on classes where they got great grades, the illusion of success based on TV idols or roles, projected financial earnings, or other factors that have nothing to do with career fit, job satisfaction or being happy. Help them learn how to set true goals that are authentic for them. Then, teach them how to pursue those goals.
Allow them to succeed and fail. Hovering parents limit young people’s abilities to grow and make their own decisions. As parents, too often we’ve limited their ability to fail because we don’t want them reliving our own hardships or life experiences. Be one of their top supporters in helping them overcome perceived failures and teach them how to take focused action to blast past the mistake or failure to achieve the intended goal.
Be a listener and a resource. Encourage them to talk with people in the industry they wish to pursue. Utilize your professional network and have them setup meetings. (Don’t do this for them or attend the meetings with them.) Help them prepare an agenda of questions to ask. Encourage them to explore new work options. For example, if they want to be an entrepreneur, have them put together a business plan and execute it. Or, if they want to start a not-for-profit, have them work in an established one to learn the nuts and bolts of running one.
The best education we can provide our young people today is the encouragement to pursue their dreams, broaden their life experiences, and be the listener they need to grow and prosper. Remember, it’s their time to explore, investigate and educate themselves on life and career choices for them.
*The Pathway PlannerTM uses the same assessment information (based upon the world’s largest validation and reliability studies) that thousands of companies use to hire. This educational and career planning tool helps young people and people in career transition discover what career possibilities best suit them. In addition, SeibCo provides the book, It’s Time to Brag! Career Edition, (www.Time2Brag.com) to help sell yourself and win the job offer.
To get started, contact SeibCo today: http://SeibCo.com/contact
©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2016 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning and internationally recognized business advisor. For the past 23 years, she has helped thousands of people work smarter, enjoy financial freedom, and realize their dreams now. She has an uncanny ability to help her clients identify roadblocks, and help them focus to quickly produce unprecedented results. Each client brings their own unique challenges, and her gift is helping each one create their success in their own unique way. Along the way, with her commitment, she helped guide the creation of three millionaires.