Do you want your child to pursue the usual career choice you had back then? If so, think again! Vocational development is a crucial process in discovering yourself and forming your identity as self. Also, career has become a part of who we are or aspire to be and family can play a crucial role in determining this.
The Career model by Super Donald emphasises how career development is unique to all and helps in the formation of self-concept (Kosine, 2007). There are many factors like gender, socioeconomic status, family, personality, and ability that play a contributing factor in influencing the career development or concept formation of the self in the individual. The family system being part of the microsystem in the Bronfenbrenner ecological model explains the direct influences on the child’s development (Fiese, 2012).
In a recent survey by Joblist who researched 210 parents and 810 currently employed individuals on how parental influence affects career choices found that 48% of people felt that parents influence their career choice while 40% felt pressure to follow their parents’ advice (Joblist, 2021). An article by India Today (2022) expresses how adolescents undergo career confusion due to a limited understanding of the future profession, peer influence or societal pressure and fear of failure. There are numerous studies that emphasise how parents play a vital role or act as agents in the career development of their children. A systematic review study analysed papers from 1990-2018 found that career development is a lifelong process dependent on factors like self-concept, family, social interaction, and academic performance (Nawabi, 2019). Moreover, discover how the parental dynamic and expectations of parents also influence the child’s decision-making. An empirical study performed in India by Priyanka N among 100 respondents of UG and PG, implied that family or parental involvement play a significant role in the decision-making among children. Another study performed in India on management students and the influence of parents on their career choice found that 26.3% of career decisions varied due to family influence. (Khatri, 2020)
Vocational selection is a big step in determining the individual’s future together with their families. They help determine the quality of life which in turn relates to their happiness and eventually expected life expectancy of the individual. A thrilling experiment by Pulmor, 1969 revealed that job satisfaction is the single best predictor for longer life expectancy.
However, the process of selecting a career that the adolescents would aspire and take for the future becomes a challenge and something that makes them think that it is a one-time decision lasting forever which leads to the fear of failure.
How can parents help?
In uncertain times like these, guidance and support from the parents are the best for the child, validating and expressing the sense of being present would give them the assurance and space to make mistakes by not being afraid to fail. Parents’ positive guidance can help the child steer the wheel to a place they desire.
There are different types of parenting styles, it is found that positive parenting and self-esteem, influence self-regulatory learning, helping the child to make decisions for themselves (Du, 2021). The transition from adolescence to young adulthood is a crucial period for the child’s development and their future. The parents or the primary caregiver have a direct influence on the child, hence it is necessary to help the child build autonomy and provide unconditional support.
In the current world, it is a challenge for the individual to discover and find careers that can make a living. But with proper guidance from the parents, both of them can together go through the process of self-discovering and exploring different options while having an open mind as it would be very beneficial for the child’s development in their career. Culturally, society & family relatives have a lot of expectations from the kids in a particular family system. However, it is important to have a positive stance with the child and help them move at their own pace and line of interest. While emotional support is required, Palos’s pilot study in 2010 provided insight into how most of the parents provided psychosocial support to their children and neglected career-oriented support such as providing informative materials about jobs and taking part in various career development workshops, which would enhance the process of career development. A career-oriented effort from parents would also be fruitful like taking the child on orientation programs on different job markets currently available and taking up career guidance or career counselling for better navigation. In many studies, we encounter that the career path has become a dependent variable with family influence being an independent variable. This can be a good opportunity for the parent and the child to have a bond with each other and help each other re-discover themselves.
- Parents can be supportive of their children by giving space for the child to discover and experiment with their interests, helping them know what they are good at, supporting their passion and providing them with resources to know more about any vocational guidance.
- The personal experience of the parents also can be helpful for the child as most children look up to their parents as role models. The parent can motivate the child to pursue what the child desires rather than impose the ideas and ambitions they had for themselves.
- Choosing a career of their choice and interest will also influence the mental health and stability of the individual. Unbiased guidance will help the child discover and experiment on their own, which will lead to the development of autonomy.
The process of deciding on a career is not a one-night decision but a journey that the parents and the child should take together to form a self-concept and mould the identity of the aspirant accordingly.
AmyMcCreadyPPS. (2021, December 09). Here’s what makes ‘positive parenting’ different-and why experts say it’s one of the best parenting styles. Retrieved October 22, 2022, from https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/04/why-psychologists-say-positive-parenting-is-the-best-style-for-raising-confident-successful-kids.html
Koçak,O.;Ak,N.;Erdem, S.S.; Sinan, M.; Younis, M.Z.; Erdog ̆an, A. The Role of Family Influence and Academic Satisfaction on Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy and Happiness. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021,18,5919. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115919
Fiese, Barbara H. (2012). [Advances in Child Development and Behavior] Advances in Child Development and Behavior Volume 42 Volume 42 || Food and Family. , (), 307–337. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-394388-0.00009-5
Kosine,Lewis. (2008). Growth and Exploration: Career Development Theory and Programs of Study. Career and Technical Education Research, 33(3), pp. 227-243
The impact of parental influence: Career edition. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2022, from https://www.joblist.com/trends/the-impact-of-parental-influence-career-edition
Donald Super Developmental Self-concept – careers New Zealand. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.careers.govt.nz/assets/pages/docs/career-theory-model-super.pdf
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Griffin, Barbara; Hu, Wendy (2019). Parental career expectations: effect on medical students’ career attitudes over time. Medical Education, (), –.doi:10.1111/medu.13812
Du, W., Jian, M., Hua, F. et al. Influence of Positive Parenting Styles on Self-Regulated Learning in Chinese Adolescents Testing the Mediating Effects of Self-Esteem. Applied Research Quality Life 17, 2619–2635 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-021-09985-9
Khatri, I., & Periwal, V. (2021, February 18). Study of influence by family on career decisions of Indian Management Students. Retrieved October 22, 2022, from https://deliverypdf.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=950072066000030002017001004102079000049082029021028028086126125081102081097104014113052103035039021001046107066127121005002098049083093013000110101105000010092093123009019014110012100092023090097116125028081070022065099087008031068082086083124094067006&EXT=pdf&INDEX=TRUE
The need for a structured approach to career guidance among youngsters. (2022, October 17). Retrieved October 22, 2022, from https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/the-need-for-a-structured-approach-to-career-guidance-among-youngsters-2286196-2022-10-17
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Nawabi, Javed,Shujaullaand, Ulfat. (2019); PARENTAL INFLUENCE ON CAREER CHOICE OF THEIR CHILDREN: LITERATURE REVIEW. Int. J. of Adv. Res. 7 (Mar). 221-227] (ISSN 2320-5407). www.journalijar.com
The views expressed are that of the expert alone.
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