As a parent you will know the affect you have on your child’s personal and academic development. You are also well aware that the career choice your child will make will affect where they will get to live, how much they will get to earn and who their friends will be.
The single most important way in which you can contribute to your child’s future has to be by encouraging your child to make the most of education and training in spite of circumstances. The better the foundational skills, the better the employment prospects and the better the job, the better the income and lifestyle.
We live in a social system and that’s the way things work. Following this strategy, you will want to build your child’s self-esteem through self-awareness and support and encourage their success in school, no matter how small – making yourself available to listen and help, encourage, hold reasonably high, but realistic, expectations, work with educators and, where possible, set aside funding for further education.
The importance of making sure your child takes the academic subjects in which they show particular interest and in which they can gain mastery is paramount as they progress through school. These choices beginning in Grade 7 at school will have a major impact on your child’s future. Learners at primary schools are encouraged to explore a large variety of foundational activities so they, their parents and their educators can get a clearer idea of what interests them and where their strengths lie as well as what they do not like to do and what they are not good at. By the time they reach Grade 7 they are expected to have their foundational skills sufficiently in place in order to choose a thread of subjects in Grade 8. These choices will prepare them for their final career path choices in Grade 9 in preparation for Grades 10, 11 and 12 the results of which will determine their prospects once they leave school.
To ensure good choices for your child you would want to assist them to choose subjects that fit their unique qualities -- abilities, talents, needs, values and interests -- and the life-style they ultimately desire. It is often useful to acquire the services of a professional to determine more accurately your child’s abilities and interests. This type of assessment can be done by a psychologist, psychometrist or career guidance counsellor who is trained in the use of specific career assessment tests.
Some assessments are designed to measure key attributes believed to influence an individual’s potential success and satisfaction within a career. Others are designed to help individuals clarify their goals and preferences which can then be used to make more informed career decisions. Assessments vary with regard to the specific personality attributes measured. Some assessments focus on an individual's interests and their aptitude while others focus on skills or values. Many assessments, particularly those offered on the internet, lack evidence for "validity," which is the degree to which interpretation of the results of the assessment are useful.
The most accurate results are those directly administered or stemming from assessments like The Strong Interest Inventory developed by psychologist Edward Kellog Strong JR (Your Personality Career Key Profile© has been developed using this theory); The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions and CareerScope which is a standardised interest and aptitude assessment useful for subject choices and career guidance.
Approach your child’s school for assistance in choosing a centre for appropriate career guidance assessment.