helping teens take a career path for independence

Helping Teens Choose A Career Path For Financial Independence

mediaAs parents, we can feel an overwhelming amount of pressure to make sure our teenagers make good choices when it comes to their future careers. This can be difficult if your teen has a behavioral disorder. However, even without behavior problems, it is still hard to help teenagers find their way.

To help teens align their goals with potential career paths without being “pushy”, try a few of these different approaches below.

Keep An Open Mind

There are many industries today which did not exist even 10-15 years ago. When I was a teenager going on dates and dreaming of my future, I never dreamed I would write online for a living. When I talked to my father about my dreams of becoming a writer, he about laughed himself sick and encouraged me to pursue psychology instead. Now I write online for parenting organizations regarding troubled teens. Interesting how these things work out.

Other industries parents may be surprised by:

  • Pro esports – Does your teen want to just play video games? Well, there is actually a booming industry centered around professional video gamers, garnering viewers who watch the games much like traditional football games. Which draws in money from advertisers who want to reach those viewers.
  • Social media – The world of social media has been a huge driver in creating new jobs. From social media personalities who create a living from cultivating a following via YouTube, Instagram, and other mediums to more “traditional” positions where companies now seem to all be hunting for social media managers to act as brand managers for companies.
  • App developer – There is a growing demand for apps. This shouldn’t surprise parents as they see their teens glued to their phones but they may not realize the potential money behind careers that can come with app development. Successful apps can make millions, and many commercially successful ones are created by just a few creators.

Create Opportunities For Your Teen To Network

The old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has become more applicable as the economy struggles to recover. Highly skilled individuals have found themselves jobless for months and even years from the lack of networking.

To help your teen avoid this fate, you can facilitate opportunities for networking early on. This will give them references and connections their peers may lack. Some ways you can help them build up a network as a teen are:

  • Encourage them to volunteer in their community.
  • Have them engage in sports or creative group endeavors like choir or band.
  • Allow them to work a part-time job.

While your teen may not be snapped up for a great career right after high school, they can start learning the basics of building a network.

Help Teens Think Realistically

I don’t criticize my father for not encouraging me to pursue writing as a career. He understood realistically that very few people could make a living from writing alone and while he did support writing as a side hobby, he showed me how my other interests could be made into a career. I follow a similar path with my own teenage son, though I do keep a bit more of an open mind than my father!

You can use tools like employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and job salary averages to help your teen take a serious look at their dream job.

This can give them hard numbers that cannot be argued with, unlike their parents. While teens may accuse their parents of exaggerating, these third-party numbers have no reason to stretch the truth and can help your teen refocus their goals.

So, along with giving teens good financial advice for college, try these tips the next time you talk with your teen about their future career.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson  enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative designs. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn