Knowledge of the world of work and education
This element of the career planning process is about learning what is out there. Without exposure to the broad array of possibilities, children will have a very narrow view of their options. They may not find a future to motivate them in the present.
Awareness of the work world can be stimulated by following up on natural curiosity. Observing everyday life in your home and community offers many chances to think about how people and the work they do affect our lives. As your children express an interest in an activity, person, or product, take the opportunity to explore:
- What are those people doing and why?
- Where did that product come from, how was it made, and who made it?
- What does that type of person actually do in his or her job?
Tying your children's understanding of the world of work to education is also critical. Kids need to connect what they are learning in school to their dreams. Extend your conversations and observations:
- Are those workers using math (or writing, speaking, science, history) to do their jobs?
- How did that person prepare to do that work?
- What kind of school or training would I need to do that?
- What would I have to do to go to that school or training program?
In some situations, you may not know the answers to these questions. No one, not even career development professionals, know everything about work and school. Take advantage of this opening to work together to research the answers and open up more possibilities.