Parents, Help Your Child Avoid This Common Mistake

Parents can help their child avoid this mistake when planning for their future.

I hope everyone is enjoying the start of summer! It’s so nice to relax and take a break from the daily grind of making the bus on time, homework, and being in the car for hours shuttling our kids to different events. I recently posted an article with great tips on what high schoolers should be doing over the summer to prepare for college. You can check it out by clicking here.

No matter what grade your high schooler is in, they should be thinking about and researching the colleges or technical schools they want to attend after high school. Most kids put their focus on choosing a college based on sports teams, notoriety, where their friends are going, extracurricular activities, campus life, etc. While these are all important in choosing where to go to school, they shouldn’t be the main reason. The main reason to choose a college is based on what they want to do as a career.

The main reason to choose a college is based on what they want to do as a career.

That’s why as parents, we shell out thousands of dollars or spend countless hours helping our child find and apply for scholarships, grants, and student loans. We want our kids to get an education that helps them pursue a career.

Many parents make the mistake of assuming a teenager is still too young to figure out what career they should pursue. Their interests change so much during this time. They think it’s ok if they figure out their major once they get into college.

Here is the problem with this thinking…

The downside of not choosing a college based on the major is that more money comes out of the parent’s pocket. The average length of attending college has gone from four to six years.

MORE TIME = MORE MONEY

The reason why this number has increased is because of kids changing their majors. As they jump from major to major trying to figure out what they want to do, it just adds to the time they spend in college. In addition, about six out of ten students who started college will not have a degree after six years, according to the National Clearing Research Center.

How will you feel as a parent if your child goes to school for six years and doesn’t earn a degree? That can be a dreadful mistake. Thousands of dollars spent, student loans that still need to be paid. It can be financially devastating for a family. Money is taken out of retirement plans to help pay it off, or the child spends years and years paying back the money that could have gone into their own retirement plans. My stomach turns at just the thought of it. I have clients whose kid has been in college for three years and they have no idea what major to choose. I am working with their child to identify the best career and major for them. If they had done this during high school, they could have avoided the costs they already spent on college tuition.

I agree that a child’s interests will change. They change because it’s all about what careers they are exposed to through you, what they learn on the internet, at school, and from their friends. That is a very limited view when you think of all the different jobs that are available. How can you help your child experience many different career fields all at once?  The answer is simple. Have your child complete a career assessment.

A career assessment is a quick and easy way for your child to match their interests to jobs they will enjoy and thrive in. I personally know the impact of what a career assessment can have on a person’s success in life. I went from different majors and jobs thinking I knew what I wanted but ended up hating the different jobs. I went to a career counselor when I was 24 years old. The results put me on a career path that I loved and thrived in. I was getting promoted regularly because I loved what I did and because I loved it, I did it really well.

Avoid making the mistake your child can make when planning for their future. Talk to your child. Many high schools offer career assessments. Some are better than others. You want to make sure it matches your child to specific careers and not just vague categories like  “the arts” or “computers.” There are thousands of different jobs in each of those categories. If your child has taken a career assessment but still needs guidance, let’s talk. I am happy to help.

Would you like to know more mistakes parents make and how to avoid them? Get my 4 Can’t Fail Steps To Getting Your Child into College. Click here and then click on the image for it. It’s FREE!

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