Right after class X, from a very early stage, children are expected to choose a line of career when they have to choose their stream – medical, non-medical, or commerce. It could be a life-defining choice the child is expected to make. Another similar and equally critical decision awaits them when they finish class XII. It is about which specific career to choose within their stream. In such scenarios, an uninformed choice could prove costly for a child’s long-term career progression. Career exploration for children can help children and their parents make an informed choice at such critical junctures.
Career exploration is the process of learning about possible career paths, job roles, functions, and industries. It helps in clarifying the career aspirations of children, their interests, goals and plan of action. This process comprises various activities including on-the-job learning, learning from industry veterans, learning about the industry, job roles, career paths, perks and benefits, risks, etc. The key objective of career exploration is to give children a flavour of all the possible available career paths without them necessarily committing to any of them. Career exploration provides immense benefits to students. Some of those benefits have been summarised in this blog.
Helps in career choice
This is the key objective of career exploration. It helps bring clarity to the children regarding various career options. They get a chance to experience the professions from close quarters and clarify doubts, if any, from industry experts. Most times children (and even parents) are attracted towards a career either because of peer pressure, herd mentality, or the outward glamour portrayed in popular media and social circles. The tough and not-so-glamorous portions are not visible to many. For example, we all are impressed by the respect a doctor’s profession receives. Financially also it is rewarding. However, we may not always realise how tough the profession is. Doctors need to be available for procedures 24×7, they work in extremely difficult and stressful situations. The career exploration process makes children aware of such hidden facets of various professions and helps children make informed choices regarding their careers.
Not just for kids, but even for parents
More than kids, it is the parents who are worried about what career suits their child. Even before the child starts going to school, the parents start wondering what the child will become when he/she grows up. Career exploration is equally beneficial for the parents in helping them understand their child’s talents, likes and dislikes about career choices. Thus, it is important to keep the parents also in the loop during the career exploration process. However, their involvement needs to be measured as excessive involvement might bring in their biases and unduly influence the mindset of children towards certain career paths.
Expands their minds
Career exploration introduces children to a wide variety of career paths, job functions, and industries. Kids are introduced to a gamut of how things work and function in real life. They are exposed to new perspectives, paradigms, ideas, and ways of working. This process opens up their minds to newer possibilities. They learn to identify with many of the things they see around them, having come across them during career exploration.
Respect for other professions
Gaining a deep understanding of various professions builds a sense of respect in children for all professions. They learn about how tough each profession is and how each profession contributes to the betterment of our society. They may like a profession or not for themselves, but they do internalise that no job is demeaning. Children who go through career exploration grow up with a sense of respect towards others who follow different professions. This is a rare virtue which makes them good citizens and empathetic human beings.
Jobs and careers are usually matters meant for the “grown-ups”. Career exploration in a way breaks this barrier. Knowledge always leads to confidence. Knowing about the different careers and professions gives children a sense of achievement and self-confidence. They feel a sense of being ‘grown-ups’ as they now know what their parents do, or what their friends’ parents do and how this “job thing” works.
Develops Goal Orientation and Discipline
Career exploration frequently leads to a realisation that there is a goal which is not so easy to achieve but is worth pursuing. It creates a sense of aspiration and ambition amongst children which is long-term in nature and requires sincerity and hard work. It motivates children to work towards a goal they want to achieve. When they feel inspired by the lives their idols are leading, they aspire to achieve the same one day. This brings discipline and structure to their lives to achieve a larger goal.
Improved School Performance
The benefits of career exploration also rub off in terms of superior performance in class. The increase in confidence, expansion of the mind horizons, increase in cognitive skills, and finally, the goal orientation that career exploration develops helps students achieve superior academic outcomes as well. They realise the importance of curricular and extracurricular activities and how it all contributes to the achievement of their career aspirations. This combination of discipline, confidence, goal orientation, etc finally contributes to the superior performance of children in school.
All the above factors combined result in stronger personality development for children who experience career exploration. A sense of responsibility towards achieving career aspirations leads to the formation of healthy behaviours and habits. They develop a positive attitude towards their parents, teachers, and life in general.
Career exploration is an integral part of the holistic developmental agenda for students at EuroSchool. Our students get ample opportunities to immerse themselves into a wide variety of possible career paths our students could pursue post-completion of their schooling. We invite industry leaders, career experts and counsellors on frequent occasions to interact with our students and clarify any doubts or misconceptions they might have regarding the various professions.