Back to School – How to Support your Child’s Choice of a Profession

 By: Erin Leslie, EQ-i Certified

Choosing a career can be a daunting task for young adults.  Being the parent of a child embarking on this process can be stressful as there are not always simplified resources available in academia to support young adults with the tools to guide them to a fulfilling profession. 

 It’s especially hard for a young person, as they have less work experience and limited life experiences to know what they like and how to best leverage their skills in a work environment. Part of parenting is providing the pathways to help guide a decision-making process so that the result is a self-made fulfilling choice and a new horizon towards personal development. However rarely does life follow a unique path and when time and ideas are limited resources where do you and/or your child turn to for support?

Career counselling helps individuals discover their best suited career pathway and helps to guide them with tools to improve essential career building skills. 

It’s important to choose the right educational options in order to lead to a great first step into a new career journey. Through coaching and vocational assessments, you can have important information in hand in a short matter of time to make informed and positive decisions for you career. 

Did you know that career choices before or after graduation depend on your ability to network in your preferred industry?

Not sure what is your preferred industry? 

Not sure how to network? 

Looking for help to improve your ability to land the right job for your career now or after you graduate? 

Career counselling is a proven support to getting the tools you need to succeed. 

Here are a few of the ways in which career counselling can give you a personal edge on leading a successful early career experience:

  • Resume tips 
  • Understanding the power of Mentorship 
  • Skills and vocational types assessments
  • Networking guidance 
  • Interview preparation 101
  • Presentation materials and tips 
  • Industry and profession navigation support 
  • Job market trends
  • Passion vs. Needs and how to balance your vocational objectives
  • Core skills and how to bring them to the forefront in your work

Don’t wait to plan your career, a common myth is that you need to be a graduate in order to plan your career. Get a head start on being in the right work for you at the beginning of your career. Learn how to build a successful carer plan that you can adapt over time to support your vocation development with a career coach.

Erin Leslie is a career counsellor at the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships (CFIR). Recenlty named 2022 Top 15 Coaches in Ottawa. With over 20 years in business leading technology teams delivering innovation in private and public sectors, Erin understands the complexity of career building and business strengths through an emotional intelligence lens. She publicly speaks about the invisible skillset EQ and how industries are shifting to a more human-centered focus to improve outcomes for employees, products and services. Erin is certified in EQ-i 2.0 assessments, performs vocational assessment analysis, and career planning to help professionals, teams and newcomers’ with all aspects of business negotiation, personal branding, networking and career accelerator skills. She believes that every career could benefit from career counselling.

The Ground-up Approach to Structure with School-Aged Children During the Coronavirus Crisis

These are challenging times for all of us, and for those of us with children, it can be especially daunting to face the coming weeks. Schools have been closed and are unlikely to resume any time soon. Managing elementary and middle-school aged children can be quite a task for parents trying to juggle working from home and engaging in full-time childcare at the same time. This is one time where perhaps the usual gripes about reticent high school teenagers can pivot to feelings of gratitude about their self-sufficiency! For the parents of younger children, though, there can be additional feelings of guilt and anxiety regarding making sure that they are doing home-schooling “right.” This concern can result in a top-down approach to structure, where rules can be established rigidly, in an attempt to mimic the structure of the school day. 

Attempting to ensure that, every day, your child: 

– studies math, 

– reads a certain number of pages, 

– gets physical exercise, 

– engages in arts and craft, 

– practices music, 

– learns new things in science and social studies, 

– keeps up with the school-at-home websites, and after that, 

– talks to family and friends, 

– engages in game and leisure time, 

– eats, 

– sleeps, 

– bathes and brushes on time…

… will only ensure the outcome of a frayed, fraught and frazzled parent!

All of the activities, as mentioned above, are useful in themselves; however, desperate times do not necessarily call for extreme measures. A ground-up approach to provide structure would be more useful in such challenging times. Moving smoothly between structured and unstructured activities will help your child to regulate their emotions related to the significant changes to their daily school routines. Rather than structuring the whole day with a gamut of activities, it might help to structure the next hour or two with an activity or two and leaving enough room for unstructured time. A more inductive approach to tasks and achievement during this time of crisis would help the child process and express their emotions in healthier ways. 

There is significant research on the positive benefits of unstructured activities for younger children. Now might be a good time to allow those benefits to be obtained, as we can creatively and compassionately weave those in with the scheduled activities. It would help parents to realistically manage their own expectations (and that of their children) and for the time being.

If your child seems to be struggling with adjusting to the new routine of life or is experiencing negative emotions related to the pandemic, psychologists, and therapists at CFIR are here to help! We are offering telepsychotherapy (e.g., video, telephone) sessions that are private and safe. 

Dr. Ashwin Mehra, C.Psych. is a psychologist at CFIR (Toronto). He provides psychological assessment and treatment services to a wide range of clients. Dr. Mehra supports them to understand and overcome a wide range of difficulties related to anxiety and mood disorders, traumatic experiences, substance use and addictions, and interpersonal challenges.