Today, media platforms and access to information, expose students to career paths at earlier ages. As a result, more students have ambition and are already thinking about their future careers. However, parents’ input is still very influential in an Indian child’s life. No matter the time, the strong sense of family ties and communal life embedded into Indian culture ensures that familial input will never disappear. So how can students take their ambitions along with their family’s input? Both can contribute to choosing a career that’s right for them.
Choosing a Career Early On – Are Students Setting a New Trend?
For years now the traditional, accepted practice of Indian households would be parents weighing into the career choices for their children. It was stereotypical for parents of a certain job to inspire their children to take up similar roles. Careers such as banking or medicine, would be suggested because of the safety nets of ‘what-do-next’ after high school and industry network built over the parent’s career to perhaps facilitate first career placements. Aspirational and affluent households may at best encourage their children to pursue alternative careers as well as education choices outside India, however, the fear of the unknown and micro-management till their child gets placed is always one to expect.
Come Gen-Z and we’ve been witnessing a new trend in the making. At ConnectEd, we receive constant feedback from our students as early as 8th grade about career choices with certainty. Students from a very early age are no more simply aspirational such as ‘when I grow big I want to become a scientist’ however, they are more certain and confident owing to the plethora of information exposed on the net and social media. We hear students already having researched universities and career steps which is very promising but on the same note, we also sense the strong sense of family ties and communal life embedded into Indian culture ensures that familial input will never disappear. Or will it?
While our ConnectEd teachers certainly encourage conversations around career choices we encourage students to have these conversations with their parents early on. We highly support aligned and mutually accepted decisions which make it very comfortable and open for the student to further research career options that may be different from what their parents are presently in. Here are 5 tips we would like to share with students to make the process easier for you:
- Share success stories of real-life professionals
Research stories of real-life role models or successful professionals that you can read up on and share with their parents. Showing your parents actual stories will help them understand better what the role involves and the successes lying ahead.
- Involve your parents early on in the process
Don’t shy away from having open conversations with your parents. It will help to get a sense of their insecurities and fears around choosing a career that’s different from what they had in mind. Addressing their question marks will help you a long way rather than trying to convince them to change their mind.
- Display active interest in your career choices
It will help to showcase projects or activities related to your passion and career choices. For instance, if you’re keen to become a veterinarian, it would help to show compassion for the pets in your community or help take the neighbour’s dog for a walk. Consistent display of your interest will help your parents see you’re really keen on pursuing your interests into a career.
- Connect your teachers and parents
It also helps to connect your parents with your teachers who can help have intentional conversations with your parents. Keeping an open dialogue and rapport between your parents and teachers will benefit you in getting a buy-in and the support you require. So, don’t feel isolated in the decision or choices you make. Talk to your teachers and ensure they’re known to your parents to help you in choosing what’s best for you.
- Life is short and the world is wide!
On a lighter note, the world today is filled with a zillion career choices. So, we always encourage our students to think outside-the-box and pursue unconventional and upcoming career choices. With the rise in technology, accessibility, knowledge and remote working options – spread your wings and pursue something you’re truly passionate about.