A Parent’s Checklist

Support

  • Am I permitting my child the freedom to explore new ideas and have new experiences?
  • Do I encourage my child’s investigation of new ideas, experiences, and careers without being too assertive?
  • Am I open-minded about ideas and values that are different from my own?
  • Do I truly listen to my child when he/she talks to me?
  • Am I helpful and encouraging when my child makes a poor choice or experiences failure?

Information

  • Do I share honestly and without reservation about my work experiences, including both positive and negative experiences?
  • Do I freely share my career history, including the ups and downs?
  • Do I share what I know about a variety of careers with my child?
  • Do I encourage my child to investigate different occupations and make resources available to assist in that process?
  • Am I willing to take part in the collection of career information if asked to do so by my child?

Personal

  • Do I help my child look at his/her strengths and interests and help explain career options that relate to these? 
  • Do I make it a point to say a kind word to my child about his/her strengths and accomplishments? 
  • Do I assist my child in recognizing careers that he/she would excel at? 
  • Do I encourage my child to take part in career assessments and interest inventories offered at the university or online?

Networking

  • Do I refer my child to colleagues, friends, and relatives who have comparable career interests?
  • Do I actively assist my child in the search for part-time/summer/volunteer work or internships that will help him/her discover a prospective career path?
  • Would I be willing to let my child use my personal or professional contacts to find employment after graduation?
  • Do I maintain a high awareness for any information that might help my child in his/her search for career information?

Motivation

  • Am I encouraging when it comes to activities that encourage career development?
  • Do I reinforce and encourage the choices my child makes, even though they might be different from the choices I would make?
  • Do I support my child in setting realistic goals without insisting that my expectations be met?
  • Do I ask questions that will inspire my child in his/her career exploration?