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Old 01-15-2008, 03:01 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
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I once heard that when a child is born, all options are open. As he gets older, options close. He is told to do this or do that by parents who might not have all the answers themselves. Most parents only scratch the surface when it comes to possible career options.

The point is to keep the options open and to help the child discover the options along with him. This can start as soon as they learn to speak.

Last edited by Bob The Builder; 01-15-2008 at 04:03 AM..
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:22 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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My twins are 13 and we’ve been talking about it in a casual way for a few years. They really don’t have a clue what they specifically want to do, but have interests in certain fields which they need to explore deeper, and at the same time keep their eyes open to all the other careers that are out there that they never heard about .

We lurk on the local high schools website (my kids are in middle school) and found at their Career Center a little quiz on occupations. Both kids took the quiz on line last year and the results were quite interesting and absolutely on target for their interests at that time and there were some careers mentioned that they didn't even know existed (so they learned something there).
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:04 AM
 
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My kids are 13 and 15 and I have had several talks about finding the right career. Of course, they don't know what they will want to do when they are older. I will be happy if they find something that makes them happy...no matter what it is.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:49 PM
 
15,187 posts, read 16,039,895 times
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We talk about careers with our 9-year-old in a casual, fun way all the time. So far she wants to be a teacher, veterinarian, own a vegetarian restaurant and be an actress. We talk about ways to combine her interests, like teaching and animals (I suggested zookeeper) and other "out there" careers. We also discuss other "grown-up" topics like how credit cards work and how to stay out of debt. Some of it is over her head but hopefully some of it is sinking in.
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Old 01-16-2008, 03:11 PM
 
12,406 posts, read 13,084,552 times
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I remember reading somewhere once that the kind of clothes you love to wear and feel most comfortable in are a valuable clue to fields of work and career direction. Well I thought that was a load of hooey until my then 14 year old son announced in a haughty tone he would never work in fast food because of the tacky outfits and he would only work in places he could wear silk ties and dress shirts. He has always had a well-developed GQ kind of look.

Well for the sake of conversation I asked him OK where for instance in this town could you see yourself working and he spent the next few days looking around (I was interested because I knew his dad was about ready to give him the you-have-to-get-a-job-if-you-want-to-use-the-car speech.) A few weeks later he announced he would work at the bank (an elegant branch bank). I said why, because you like working with money? or for prestige? and he said no because they dress the best.

By the time he was 16 he had gotten himself an internship at that bank, worked there until he went to college, won state-wide awards for customer service, and has a job offer when he graduates if he so chooses. Now this is is a kid who picked based on clothes and it worked for him. I was utterly amazed. Oh as soon as he got the job at age 16 he went to the Bon Marche and spent over an hour selecting silk ties and dress shirts and elegant slacks (no one in our family dresses like that, NO ONE) and the clerks absolutely love him (he is handsome) and he is fluent in various fabrics and colors that only fashion types know and understand
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:22 AM
 
1,156 posts, read 3,229,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DimSumRaja View Post
I remember reading somewhere once that the kind of clothes you love to wear and feel most comfortable in are a valuable clue to fields of work and career direction. Well I thought that was a load of hooey until my then 14 year old son announced in a haughty tone he would never work in fast food because of the tacky outfits and he would only work in places he could wear silk ties and dress shirts. He has always had a well-developed GQ kind of look.

Well for the sake of conversation I asked him OK where for instance in this town could you see yourself working and he spent the next few days looking around (I was interested because I knew his dad was about ready to give him the you-have-to-get-a-job-if-you-want-to-use-the-car speech.) A few weeks later he announced he would work at the bank (an elegant branch bank). I said why, because you like working with money? or for prestige? and he said no because they dress the best.

By the time he was 16 he had gotten himself an internship at that bank, worked there until he went to college, won state-wide awards for customer service, and has a job offer when he graduates if he so chooses. Now this is is a kid who picked based on clothes and it worked for him. I was utterly amazed. Oh as soon as he got the job at age 16 he went to the Bon Marche and spent over an hour selecting silk ties and dress shirts and elegant slacks (no one in our family dresses like that, NO ONE) and the clerks absolutely love him (he is handsome) and he is fluent in various fabrics and colors that only fashion types know and understand
Wow! What a great story. I hope his success continues.

The clothing thing you mentioned struck a chord in me, I think because you want to feel like you fit in, in the work environment you choose.

When I was in college deciding my major, my dad was trying to suggest that I'd do well in business or marketing, which prompted a massive asthma attack and sent me to the hospital (a story that lives in infamy.) I had the aptitude, but I could never imagine myself in an office building with a bunch of suits everyday. I ended up doing marketing-communications type work for a crunchy granola non-profit organization instead, and of course, lived happily ever after.

So I can see how there might just be something to that clothing clue.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,496,291 times
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Originally Posted by cdc3217 View Post
I think its really important to help children understand their interests and abilities starting at an early age. My oldest is 10 and I am already trying to help him connect the dots between his interests and what types of careers they could lead to. I don't want to push him into anything, just give him some kind of suggestions based on who he is up to this point.

As someone who was given the "You can be anything you want to be" speech, and no direction from family or counselors, other than "you WILL go to college," I have to say some steering and objective assessments of my capabilities would have been appreciated. And along with that, a sense of earning potential for various degrees/careers and what kind of lifestyle they will provide.

I suppose kids that have more of the go-getter attitude do fine with or without this kind of advice, but I think we dreamer/drifters benefit from some more substantial advising.
You sound like you had MY parents! But then they never went to college - mom stayed home, dad was blue collar.

Here's my thoughts on career. I'm going to be evaluating my boys' personalities from a young age to see where their interests may be, at a high level. Also possibly have then tested to see which side of their brains are dominant. I'm right brain dominant which means creative, visual, bad at math. Left brain dominance means analytical, mathematic, not as creative etc. I never understood why I was so great at creative writing, art, and music but couldn't do algebra to save my life until I took a brain dominance test.

The reason I want to know things like this is so that I can work with my boys' natural abilities rather than against them. I don't know what age you can be tested for brain dominance, but I'll look into it. The first test I took was at age 18 in Psyc. 101. Every test since then (you can even do them online) comes back the same, so I'd guess it's set at an early age. Just knowing this will help steer them toward a career they'd be more likely to enjoy and succeed in.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:31 PM
 
12,406 posts, read 13,084,552 times
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The best guide is what the kid naturally loves doing and spending his time on. Tests only really measure the ability to take a test. It is also an incredible gift to give a child to say things like, "Do the work and activities that bring you joy," and "Work is supposed to be fun, not a drudge," and "It's your job and your life, not anyone else's"
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