August 6

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Helping Your Child Find a Purposeful Career

By Charlie Fletcher

August 6, 2021

career, parenting, parenting tips, raising children

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No matter how young your child is, many parents do what they can to lay the groundwork for their kids’ futures. Almost every child gets asked the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”,  and while it might seem hypothetical at the moment, it’s something that can (and should) be taken seriously. 

Your child might not have the same career goals at five years old as they do later in life. But, it’s never too early to help them explore their interests and develop their passions. 

As your child gets older, you can turn that guidance toward helping them find a purposeful career. Doing so can offer you peace of mind and will allow your child to do something with their life that truly matters to them. It will show them how to develop a sense of purpose in life, not just work. 

So, how can you help them down that path? 

Encouraging Them to Do What Matters

A 2020 survey discovered that 60% of people are unhappy with their jobs. You don’t want your child to enter into a career where their main goal is to make a paycheck. Instead, you should encourage them to go down a fulfilling and meaningful path with their career. 

To do that, find out what really matters to them. What are their values and beliefs? Core values in the workplace include things like

  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Fun
  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Risk-taking
  • Travel

Does your child work best when they’re given a creative outlet? Do they seem fearless and ready to take a chance with anything? Do they crave learning and growing more than anything else? When you discuss their values, you’ll be able to narrow down different career paths that meet them. 

It’s also important to encourage your child to follow their passions. Children need to know that what they do matters and can have an impact on others. Maybe they’re passionate about the planet, or animals, or other people. Talk about career opportunities that will let them follow those passions and make a difference in their lives. The world needs more businesses based on passion and care. So, be careful not to “squash” any of those meaningful and hopeful ideas your child might have. Instead, work with them to find jobs that will align with what they care about.

Boosting Their Dreams

You might already know that your child has an entrepreneurial spirit. Maybe they “invent” things or come up with creative ideas. Maybe they’re good at managing their time and directing other people. If you see those characteristics, you might consider encouraging your child to start their own business when they get older. 

It’s easier than ever to “be your own boss” thanks to the rise in freelancing popularity. Nowadays, freelance writing, design, photography, and software development can all result in successful careers. 

If your child wants to start a brick-and-mortar business or even set up their own eCommerce site, be sure to fuel those interests by showing them the basics of the business world. Keep in mind the responsibility of teaching them the best possible practices, too. That includes tips on how to be ethical and how to build a sustainable business that will benefit the environment. Those practices should include things like: 

  • Getting environmental grants and loans
  • Green recruitment
  • Using recyclable materials
  • Digital marketing

If you think your child will excel in a business of their own, setting the foundation now for how to build a responsible business will make it easier for them to put those things into practice later. The landscape of the business world is changing. Making sure your child (of an appropriate age) knows how to navigate those best practices will help them get off the ground faster. 

You might be asking yourself how you can really help your child find their purpose. The best answer? You can’t force it. The easiest way to help them is to pay attention. Look for that “spark” within them when they’re in a certain place or doing something they love. 

You know your child better than anyone and you know their reactions. By keeping an eye on them, you’ll learn how those things that light a fire inside them can eventually turn into a successful, fulfilling future.

About the author 

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who enjoys listening to podcasts, tending to her plants, and bingeing reality tv. She has a passion for social justice, workplace issues, and mental health, which you can read more about by visiting her portfolio. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn.

Charlie Fletcher is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who enjoys listening to podcasts, tending to her plants, and bingeing reality tv. She has a passion for social justice, workplace issues, and mental health, which you can read more about by visiting her portfolio. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn.

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