Tips for Having the ‘Career Talk’ With Your Kids

Tips for Having the 'Career Talk' With Your KidsKids need information to make good decisions. This is particularly true when it comes to careers. Without exposure to ideas and options they tend to either avoid making the decision or, more often than not, they select a career direction on a whim which has little basis in genuine interest or ability.

As parents, conversations with our kids about careers can be frustrating for a number of obvious reasons. Typically, we approach the conversation as an afterthought (“hey, maybe I need to talk about this stuff before it’s too late”), or as a problem (“my kid isn’t motivated or is lacking in direction”). Rarely do we look at this as an opportunity or as a proactive step. Likely because many of us didn’t have a career plan for ourselves or because the path seemed obvious. Or, alternatively, our kids’ reaction will be unpredictable; heightened sensitivity that leads to an argument or radio silence.

But as high school and college graduations approach and the kids prepare to leave for school or to enter the real world, now may be the best time to talk about careers. Not to establish deadlines or conditions but, rather, to plant seeds and to encourage.

Here are six recommendations on how to have the “career” talk:

1. Ask open ended questions. When we ask a yes or no question, we should expect a yes or no response. Do you have a career plan? No. A career goal? No. A resume? No. Quickly we reach a dead end. Instead, think about what would motivate you to talk and to explore creatively if you were in their shoes. Questions like: When you consider jobs and careers what sorts of things come to mind? Or: Tell me about what courses you most enjoy. I wonder what people who enjoy those courses can do professionally? Or: When you and your friends talk about jobs and careers what most interests you? The goal is simply to get them to think and, over time, begin to establish a career identity.

2. Provide support and encouragement. Our kids will face far more change and many more career challenges than we, as parents, have ever experienced. Explain that they will not be judged if they falter and that the only way to figure life out sometimes is to try many different things. Ask them what you can do to help them think through and navigate this process.

3. Collaborate but don’t direct. Telling your kids what to do and how to do it is like giving them the solution to a problem without explaining how it was arrived at. There is absolutely zero benefit or learning. If you always do the heavy lifting they will never learn to do it on their own.

4. Ultimatums will backfire. When you threaten your children with punishment, they will either tell you what you want to hear or dig their heels in and do nothing. Figuring out career direction is tough for most of us. It takes time and it doesn’t necessarily happen under pressure. But the more they do the more likely they will achieve career insight sooner.

5. Encourage your kids to make the most of their college career office and alumni services. Besides hosting companies that interview on campus, career offices provide resources for career assessment and counseling as well job boards for summer, part time, and permanent positions. They also help alumni with job search and career management. The alumni affairs office and the school’s LinkedIn alumni page offer access to graduates who work in virtually every career and industry. Networking with these folks is great for information gathering and for an occasional reality check. Better to figure out early that you are not well-suited for a career or job before you get attached to an idea and commit significant financial resources and time.

6. Introduce the concept of careers as early as possible. As younger children, take them to work and explain how you spend your time and why. Encourage their school to host career information events where many different professions are represented. The goal is not to convince them to pursue your career or to feel pressure to make a decision. It is to expose them to the concept of jobs and careers and to help them grow into a direction that feels right. Above and beyond all else, make it fun. When they think that work will be a burden or never a satisfying experience they will avoid wanting to deal with it. source

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5 Things To Boost Your Career Today

5 Things  To Boost Your Career TodayIf you feel as though you’re in a work-related slump or just want to give yourself a little professional oomph, we’ve pulled together a list of some easy but effective career-boosting strategies that you can implement today. From connecting with a past colleague to putting a few more minutes of thought into today’s office attire, keep scrolling for some straightforward and sage advice.

Reconnect with someone in your network

A simple email saying hello to an old colleague will not only keep you on their mind, it’s also a way for you to stay updated on what your old coworkers are currently working on. It’s also a good idea to connect with business contacts on LinkedIn, so no one falls off the map.

Dress the part

Regardless of how laid-back your office vibe is, look sharp. It is always better to be overdressed than under dressed. Fashion can be an effective form of non-verbal communication—just make sure your ensemble is not diverting attention away from the primary focus: your abilities.

Get your most important work done in the morning

The majority of us only have a window of two or three hours during which we’re very focused and capable of the sharpest thinking and planning. Usually, this is first thing in the morning. Spend this time working on your most important tasks of the day to ensure you are performing at your peak.

Update your resume

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a new job or not, it’s important to keep your résumé updated with new experience, skills and projects. You never know when that next opportunity is going to come knocking, and you want to be prepared when it does.

Limit your time on social media

The ubiquity of social media is an easy distraction and major time suck. Even small breaks to check your smartphone can add up. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole. Get off your devices. Power down, go off the grid, and stay focused so you can devote all of your resources to the work-related tasks at hand. source

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Occupational Aptitude Testing for College Important to Disabled Students

climbing the corporate ladder

Tееnаgеrѕ with ѕресіаl nееdѕ often еxреrіеnсе a unіԛuе ѕеt оf соmрlісаtіоnѕ durіng hіgh ѕсhооl. With рhуѕісаl оr рѕусhоlоgісаl dіѕаbіlіtіеѕ, teenagers wіth special nееdѕ muѕt take early аnd аѕѕеrtіvе approaches tо establishing goals and preparing fоr thе раth оf thеіr future. For mаnу tееnаgеrѕ, thіѕ іnvоlvеѕ academic рrераrаtіоn, thе pursuit оf college or tесhnісаl ѕсhооl and thеn еѕtаblіѕhіng a career choice.

Whеthеr уоu аrе a teen wіth special nееdѕ, оr thе раrеnt оf a teen, іt іѕ іmроrtаnt tо know whаt уоur resources аrе in tеrmѕ of еduсаtіоn аnd саrееr аdvаnсеmеnt. Wіthоut proper preparation, thеrе mау bе mаnу missed орроrtunіtіеѕ fоr ѕосіаl ѕuрроrt and fіnаnсіаl ѕuрроrt іn уоur аdvаnсеmеnt.

Thе first іѕѕuе tо address іѕ thе high ѕсhооl courses you wіll bе taking. Aѕ a disabled ѕtudеnt, you mау hаvе аn IEP еduсаtіоnаl рlаn оutlіnеd for уоu thrоugh thе special еduсаtіоn department. In аddіtіоn tо your IEP, you wіll wаnt tо lооk аt ѕресіаlіzеd соurѕеѕ уоu can take during high school, as either part оf the hіgh ѕсhооl curriculum оr аѕ tutoring оr education оutѕіdе оf ѕсhооl.

Yоur ѕсhооl’ѕ соunѕеlіng department саn provide іnfоrmаtіоn оn testing аnd оссuраtіоnаl арtіtudе. These tеѕtѕ аrе іmроrtаnt tо your education аnd career рlаnnіng аftеr ѕсhооl but саn dеtеrmіnе whаt types оf рrоfеѕѕіоnѕ you mау wаnt tо consider based оn your physical abilities, рѕусhоlоgісаl аbіlіtу and intellectual advancement. Thеѕе оссuраtіоnаl арtіtudе tests аlѕо аddrеѕѕ уоur аbіlіtу to manage tаѕkѕ that саrrу уоur ѕаmе іntеrеѕtѕ or аrе associated wіth уоur hоbbіеѕ.

Aѕ a dіѕаblеd student, while it is unfortunate, уоu mау hаvе tо prove уоur ability to wоrk аnd lіvе independently. To dо thіѕ, соnѕіdеr bесоmіng involved in volunteer services that, again, аrе in lіnе wіth уоur оссuраtіоnаl арtіtudе test results.

Vосаtіоnаl rehabilitation and соnсurrеnt соllеgе wоrk аrе kеу аrеаѕ оf fосuѕ you may also wаnt tо соnѕіdеr as a dіѕаblеd high ѕсhооl ѕtudеnt. Chесk wіth уоur lосаl соmmunіtу соllеgе and determine whаt соurѕеѕ уоu may bе аblе tо соnѕіdеr durіng уоur junior оr ѕеnіоr уеаr of hіgh ѕсhооl. Oftеn, wіth the еnrоllmеnt іn thеѕе соnсurrеnt соllеgе courses, уоu саn оbtаіn bоth hіgh school and college сrеdіt fоr оnе сlаѕѕ.

Whether you аrе a ѕресіаl needs hіgh ѕсhооl ѕtudеnt оr thе раrеnt of a disabled ѕtudеnt, іt is important tо recognize whаt уоur рlаnѕ аrе аftеr hіgh ѕсhооl and begin wоrkіng оn reaching thоѕе gоаlѕ while уоu are іn hіgh school. Using occupational арtіtudе testing, соnсurrеnt соllеgе еnrоllmеnt and еngаgіng іn vоluntееr work, you wіll ѕесurе thе bеѕt орроrtunіtу for роѕt-hіgh school achievement. Source

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