Career establishment and transitions
Most of our adult lives, we are either:
- Establishing ourselves in our careers;
- Maintaining our careers; or
- Transitioning - initially from school to work, and later from work to school, from job to job or career to career, and from work to retirement.
The career development skills and attitudes your children develop earlier empower them to engage in these important life and career activities as adults.
You also are likely in your career establishment and transition phase. You may recognize these characteristics and benefit from thinking about how you are doing in your own
career self-management. Remember, parents serve as role models in their children's careers.
When your children begin working in their chosen career, they hopefully feel confident that they have figured out what they are meant to do. At this stage, they must focus their energies on doing a good job, learning new job-specific skills, and figuring out how to succeed. Later, your children will feel comfortable in their career field as they determine how things are done in their workplace and industry. During this maintenance stage, they need to continually update their skill set and stay current in their field. The transition stage may be self-imposed because they discover they no longer like what they are doing. Or the need to move on may be imposed by an employer, family circumstances, or personal issues such as health. In this stage, career self-management skills will be all important for making conscious changes in career direction.
Maintaining a career and making career transitions require new levels of self-knowledge.
- How does work impact me and my family?
- How am I changing as I learn new things and have new experiences?
- Is my work satisfying? If not, how can I make it satisfying?
- Do I behave in self-defeating ways? How can I overcome these behaviors?
- How do I react to job loss? How can I better deal with anger, depression, frustration and apathy, and learn to take continuing positive action to become employed again?
Information gathering and planning skills are also critical.
- Can I identify alternative occupations when my current employment is in jeopardy?
- Do I know how to find a new job?
- What skills do I need to get a new job? How can I learn those skills?
What should adults be able to do?
Here are 10 important career skills that your adult children or you can develop:
- Assess how their interests, abilities, strengths, skills, talents, work values and needs and reflected in their career goals and plans.
- Evaluate their communication skills, interaction with others, and ability to work effectively with groups.
- Analyze the success of their conflict resolution skills.
- Assess how their personal aspirations have changed and how they have managed these changes.
- Demonstrate ability to seek assistance from appropriate resources.
- Show balance in their life roles.
- Reexamine their career goals and make adjustments in their career plans to reflect their career self-management needs.
- Assess if their skills and knowledge are sufficient to function in the workplace and analyze educational strategies needed for growth and improvement.
- Use a variety of career information resources and tools to actively manage their plans.
- Evaluate their job search, employability, and transferable skills and market themselves in the workplace.
These skills cover some of the most important indicators included in the National Career Development Guidelines for the establishment and transition developmental stage. The guidelines describe what children and adults should understand and be able to do at various stages of their career development. They include specific goals and learning indicators grouped by the three principle domains:
- Personal and Social Development
- Educational Achievement and Lifelong Learning
- Career Management
This framework may help you think about the types of activities you can do to help with career establishment and transition with your adult children or for your own career development. (It is also reflected in the content of this website.)