Clueless About Careers

High school is the final stepping stone before one takes a plunge into the adult world. In modern-day society, vast varieties of career paths are available which often makes choosing a career come off as overwhelming. Many factors have to be taken into consideration, as planning a career is no less than deciding one’s future. The questions, “How do I even choose when I have no idea what I want to do?” and “What if I don’t make the right choice?” play on repeat in many teenagers’ minds. 

Parents often have a direct approach when it comes to helping decide their child’s future. Most likely working a job of their own, parents have different priorities when choosing a career when compared to their child. The topic of practicality or passion is a common argument many adults may find themselves in with their children. The boundary between determination and unrealistic goals seems to be drawn at different lines for these two contrasting generations. 

 Pallavi Srinivas Dronamraju, a mother of two future high schoolers states, “In a career, I prioritize success, as success to me is striking a balance between work and life.” 

In contrast, many students seem to have more of an abstract approach to the topic. Some students argue that all jobs that offer a hefty sum of money will eventually lead to happiness. Others feel that picking a job that you’re passionate about will inevitably lead to happiness and that making large amounts of money isn’t always the top priority.

Ceci Ly, a freshman at Denmark High School commented, “A career is really meant for enjoyment and passion. People think of it as a troubling chore when it’s really not. So really, what I value in a career is being able to have a strong passion and a good work ethic.” 

With varying opinions at hand, it is important for the two parties to find a middle ground they both can agree on. So how can this be done? To start, an open mind is needed from both child and parent, as compromises may need to be made to meet everyone’s satisfaction. Parents should encourage passion and guide their children through the process of choosing potential careers. An essential part of these steps includes making sure parents assist their children without completely taking over the role of making choices for them. Being able to trust emerging young adults will help them in the real world, especially when it comes to the workforce. Another helpful initiative to take is to motivate children when it comes to exploring their interests. Volunteering or joining clubs is a great start to gain experience as well as better a child’s understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

Even amidst the pressure of finding a suitable career path, one should always remember to take a step back from the tension. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has a “calling” that comes to them naturally. When passion doesn’t come knocking at your door, it’s up to you to go and find it.