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Role of parents when teenagers make their own career choices

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January 25, 2024

Role of parents when teenagers make their own career choices

counselling teenager

Are you as a parent happy that your teenager has confidently chosen a career path? Witnessing your child work towards a well-defined future is undoubtedly a source of pride. Yet, in this pivotal moment, what role should you, as a parent, assume? Should you simply watch from the sidelines, allowing your child to take control of their destiny, or should you actively guide them without imposing your aspirations? Let’s delve into the best course of action to ensure your child makes a well-informed decision – recognizing that a thoughtfully planned career is essential for a fulfilling life.


Times have drastically changed. Earlier we grew up in a culture where parents dictated career choices to their children, based on their experiences and what they thought was a lucrative career choice. Career choices were limited and if your child was an Engineer, Doctor, or Lawyer, that was the pinnacle of success.

However, today propelled by technological advancements, social media, and the internet, countless career choices are available and employment opportunities are constantly evolving. The landscape has dramatically changed with evolving workspaces and the continuous need to stay relevant. Parents need to understand this shifting landscape and recognize that their teenagers are navigating a different world than they did. And they also need to realize that they might not be sufficiently equipped to make career decisions for their children solely. Their role transforms from dictator to mentor and facilitator helping their children make informed choices.


career counselling

Here, we will touch on four important aspects:

  1. Stay up to date:

    As your teens’ mentor, you will need to update yourself on the changing career landscape. While you may be able to offer valuable career planning advice based on your experiences, you might need to research new workplace trends, stay informed about emerging occupations, and identify industries projected to have substantial demand for workers.

Consider the following shifts in the job market:

  • Artificial intelligence and automation are changing job requirements, emphasizing the need for “future-proof” skills.
  • Evolving technology and social media are creating new occupations. For instance, social media marketing has emerged in just a few years.
  • Increasing awareness of climate change is leading to growth in the green economy offering new opportunities and careers aligned with environmentally responsible practices.
  • Today’s youth can anticipate multiple job changesacross various occupations and industries, emphasizing the importance of flexibility and adaptability.
  • The conventional 9-to-5 work model is transforming into a variety of employment structures, including part-time, temporary, remote, and gig work.
  • Educational and training paths are less linear, requiring continual learning and reskilling throughout one’s career.
  1. Encourage Self-Exploration:

    Guiding teenagers in uncovering their interests, strengths, and skills is crucial. For example, if your teenager shows an interest in art, exploring careers in graphic design or animation could be discussed. By nurturing curiosity, you can empower your teen to discover their passions. As a parent, you can facilitate self-exploration by supporting their engagement in extracurricular activities, helping them find internship opportunities, part-time jobs, or volunteer workrelated to their interests, and encouraging them to take aptitude psychometric testsall of which empower your teen to explore diverse possibilities.

  2. Communication and Active Listening:

    Open communication is vital to a successful parent-teenager relationship. By actively listening to your teenager’s aspirations and concerns, you will create a supportive atmosphere. Consider a scenario where a teenager expresses an interest in pursuing a music career. Instead of immediately dismissing the idea, a parent who listens actively might explore various aspects of the music industry, discussing potential career paths and how to turn passion into a viable profession.

  3. Balancing Support and Realism:

    It’s important to strike a balance between supporting your teenagers’ dreams and being realistic about career prospects. Let’s take the example of a teenager aspiring to become a professional athlete. While encouraging the pursuit of their passion, parents can also discuss the importance of having a backup plan, such as combining sports with academics or exploring sports-related careers in sports management, nutrition, or coaching.



While celebrating your teenager’s ability to make career choices on their own and providing them with much-needed mentoring and support, the journey doesn’t end there. It is human nature to seek validation when making crucial life decisions. And who better to validate your child’s career choice than an experienced career counsellor?  Getting the expert opinion of a career counsellor can be a game-changer. A career counsellor brings a wealth of knowledge and tools to the table, employing methods designed to uncover inherent strengths, passions, interests, and aptitudes.

Let’s examine how.

  1. Identifying Inherent Strengths:

    Career counsellors utilize assessments and personalized conversations to identify your teenager’s inherent strengths. These may include analytical abilities, creativity, leadership qualities, or a natural aptitude for specific skill sets.

  2. Mapping Passions and Interests:

    Understanding a teenager’s passions and interests is key to making a fulfilling career choice. Career counsellors engage in discussions to unearth what truly excites and motivates your child, ensuring alignment with their chosen path.

  3. Assessing Aptitude:

    Aptitude assessments conducted by career counsellors gauge a teenager’s natural inclinations and capabilities for certain types of work. This critical analysis helps ensure that the selected career aligns with their inherent abilities.

  4. Aligning Choices for a Happy Future:

    The ultimate goal is to align the chosen career with your teenager’s strengths, passions, and aptitude, setting the foundation for a satisfying and successful future. This process not only helps validate the initial choice but also provides valuable insights to both parents and teenagers.

  5. Averting Unwise Career Decisions:

    By involving a career counsellor, parents can proactively avert situations where the chosen career might not be the best fit. Through a collaborative effort, parents, teenagers, and career counsellors can identify potential gaps, allowing for timely adjustments and ensuring a more informed decision-making process.

In essence, while the teenager’s ability to independently choose a career path is admirable, the guidance of a career counsellor acts as a crucial checkpoint. It adds a layer of assurance for parents, confirming that their child’s aspirations are grounded in a deep understanding of their strengths and passions, and not just based on the influence of trends and peer choices, ultimately paving the way for a happier and more fulfilling future.

Known for providing the best career counselling in Chennai, Elysian can help validate your teenager’s career choice. With expertise in uncovering inherent strengths and passions, and aligning them with future aspirations, Elysian ensures a holistic approach to career guidance. Contact us today!


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