EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — With the start of a new school year, learning basic subjects such as math, science and literacy are all important, but what is a good age to start thinking about careers?
As the saying goes, choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
Many kids are not yet ready to make decisions about a career choice, but experts say it’s never too early to start exploring possible professions.
Child development specialists say learning about occupations broadens their choices and increases the odds that they will be able to find suitable careers.
“My daughter wants to be a doctor. She might be a doctor someday,” Rebecca Hoover of Sterling, Wayne County explains.
Rebecca Hoover is a mom of 5 kids, ranging in age from 18 months to 7 years old.
Like many parents, she wants her kids to choose a profession someday that’s right for them.
But knowing the correct way to choose a profession can help kids avoid falling for all the career planning myths that could lead to working in a field that’s unfulfilling.
“Talking to kids early and often about succeeding in life and about what you want to be in life that starts with school success,” Carlene Gula is Program Manager with the Outreach Center for Community Resources in Scranton.
She helps plan Child Career Fairs like this one in Scranton.
Gula says one of the best ways for kids to explore careers is for parents and children to engage in conversations about different professions.
“Every opportunity that a parent has when they’re watching TV talk about look at what that person does, give children the opportunity to ask questions about that,” Gula continues.
Another way to expose kids to different careers is by talking with professionals they see every day in their communities such as police officers.
“In your communities, you see police officers, ambulances, you go to the grocery store, you take a pet to the groomer all those things just continue to talk,” Gula states.
Tom Campbell is a teacher at Johnson College, a trade school in Scranton. He says If kids show an interest, it’s important for parents to foster that curiosity.
“There’s a lot of different programs available in high school that gets students on their way then I get a better product and take them to the next level much better, much quicker,” Campbell said.
Other ways to create opportunities for career exposure…is to watch someone doing that job.
Use goal setting to encourage children ‘s understanding of the process involved with a career choice and attainment.
For example, How do you become a Doctor?
Career days at schools also present another way to learn how people acquire a livelihood. Schools invite parents into the classroom to talk about their careers.
When your child gets into high school, they can take a self-assessment test to discover his or her interests, values, personality and aptitudes and discuss how they will influence future career related decisions.