How do I motivate Indian teenagers

How parents can support their child in choosing a career

Laura is nine, wants to become a footballer and play in the Austrian national team. Whenever she tells her parents that, they say that Laura shouldn't make this decision until she grows up.

Fourteen-year-old Vincent is in his senior year of school. The class teacher and his parents almost exclusively talk to him about what he should do afterwards or what job he should learn. You make a lot of suggestions, but all Vincent really wants is to be left alone.

The thirteen-year-old twins Erik and Leon hear from their parents that they should slowly think about what they would like to do for a living later on. While Erik would very much like to become a doctor, Leon on the other hand still has no concrete idea.

Your own career choice

Almost all people who are still active in working life have either changed their job in the course of their life or work in a different profession than the one for which they were trained. In the past, you learned a profession and practiced it until you retired. Today it is completely normal to change jobs or occupational field several times.

Today, children and young people have a wide range of opportunities and can choose from many professional fields. But this not only has advantages: the large selection overwhelms parents and young people, as their wishes and ideas about their future career often do not match.

Independent decision

Young people find that having a wide range of choices can also be a burden. At the same time, there is also a bottleneck in society that many young people experience. Hundreds of people apply for an apprenticeship position, and even during the interview or the entrance test there is a competitive situation that many are not up to. Getting a suitable apprenticeship position is not a given, and many young people have no prospects. In this situation, parents and caregivers have to encourage the children and motivate them to continue their search.

The gap between education and work

It is clear that it was much easier to get an apprenticeship in the past. Young people were under less pressure and almost everyone had the opportunity to find work. At that time it was mainly students who started an apprenticeship after completing the polytechnic course or after secondary school, nowadays more and more high school graduates begin an apprenticeship after graduation. That means even more competition when looking for an apprenticeship.

Due to the many opportunities that children and young people have for choosing a career, parents and caregivers are now more required than ever to help their children choose. Many young people want their parents' support in finding the right job for them. This means that the adults have to deal with the world of work in order to sort out the various possibilities together with their children and to find out which professions there are and what could interest the adolescents.

Internships can help

Often there is a lack of idea of ​​which job is the right one, which requirements are necessary for it and whether it turns out to be so interesting that one would also like to learn it. Internships in different areas of work that the young people can do during the holidays help.

Therefore, it is good to look with the young person one or two years before the end of compulsory schooling to see whether it is possible to get a taste of the job of choice. Many companies are often interested in getting to know potential apprentices at an early stage in order to better assess whether everyone is making the right decision.

Sometimes it is also helpful for young people to look for perspectives together with their parents: What are the earning opportunities and what additional costs are incurred. It's about creating ideas about the reality that young people want to achieve. It helps to clearly show how much, for example, the rent of an average apartment is. The child has to pay for such costs themselves later, and the job has to be able to cover all of that. This does not mean that reality should disillusion young people.

Orientation towards role models

Most young people orientate themselves on some kind of role model. Sometimes it's superheroes who have real work in normal life, or it's heroes who do bold things. Or does the life of a star seem fascinating, or just the desire to be famous and known. Young people want to become game developers or make great inventions, fly to the moon and discover it. Taking wishes seriously is just as important as pointing out the difficulty of implementing them, because not everyone can become a famous actor, go to the Cobra special unit or fly to the moon as an astronaut.

However, serious confrontation may help the child and adolescent to put his wishes into perspective and to postpone them until later. Or to set it as a goal for the future.

Your experience?

What support did your child need in finding the right job? What was the decisive factor in your choice of career? Do you work in the job that you originally learned? Post your experiences, questions and ideas in the forum! (Andrea Leidlmayr, Christine Strableg, November 3, 2017)