Understanding the world of work

It is never too early to begin observing the adult world. The adult world involves a number of interrelated life roles. As an adult, each of us acts as an individual, a learner, a producer, a consumer, a family member, and a citizen. Understanding the world of work is important for preparing for all of these life roles. It is critical to formulating a career plan.

Understanding the world of work follows closely with the stages of career development. First, your children need to be aware of it. Later, they explore it through investigation and experience, relating it to their own interests, values, skills, and plans. Once they become participants in the world of work, they continue to keep informed in order to actively manage their careers. As a parent, understanding the world of work supports your children, but it also helps you in your own career development.

Awareness of the world of work

Young children should learn that there are many options in the world of work. To see how aware your children are, you might want to ask them to write down all of the jobs they can name. You should not be surprised if they can name only 10 or 15. The jobs that they know will probably be ones they see at school or among immediate family members. Then, during daily activities, point out people at work, talking about what they do, where they might work, and what their jobs might be called. After six months, ask your children to once again name the jobs that they know. If they can name more - and don't be surprised if it is considerably more - you will have helped them in their career awareness!

You can also help your children learn how education is connected to careers. For example:

Your children's interests provide excellent motivators for awareness. You can focus some of your discussions by beginning with your children's interests. Talk about their interest in general and then point out how the interest relates to activities that adults do. For example: