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Career Guidance for Teens

July 11, 2013

If you are stressed out that your high school teen hasn’t found a career interest yet, relax. Some kids decide on a career when they are very young, and others don’t decide until much later.

Statistically speaking, working adults change their career three to seven times in their lifetime! In the same way, it’s not unusual for college students to change their major at least once in their college career. And even if your student chooses a career now, it’s unlikely that they will continue with that career throughout their entire life.

I suggest another strategy for kids who are undecided about a career, and that’s to consider going to a liberal arts college.  At a liberal arts college, students take classes in a wide variety of subjects.  The first two years of the exploratory curriculum usually include some science, social sciences (psychology for example), English, politics, etc.  Exposure to a varied curriculum helps students explore many different subjects, and eventually they will find the areas that they love.  In the event that nothing makes them say, “wow!”, graduates of liberal arts schools still do graduate with a general liberal arts degree.  Many businesses like general liberal arts degrees.  Most train all their new employees anyway, and simply want an employee with ANY bachelor’s degree.  Liberal Arts can be a good fit for many different kinds of jobs.

If your teen would like to explore other career options, here are books that I recommend for career guidance.

1.  Larry Burkett’s series:
Your Career in Changing Times
Finding the Career That Fits You: The Companion Workbook to Your Career in Changing Times

This book and workbook are from a Christian perspective.

2. What Color is Your Parachute series:
What Color Is Your Parachute for Teens: Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future (What Color Is Your Parachute for Teens) What Color Is Your Parachute Workbook: How to Create a Picture of Your Ideal Job or Next Career.

This book is from a secular perspective, but has been around for decades.  I haven’t read it recently, but I understand that the adult version of the current book includes a section on job counseling specific to homosexuals, so if you don’t want your teen reading about that, you may want to stick with the teen version.

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