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Influence of parents in career choice

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In recent times, there has been growing interest in the interrelationships between career choice, peer group and parental influence. More importantly the focus has been on the factors that tend to move an individual towards a career. PARENTS

Parents play a major role in the decisions of their children. As children grow into adolescents, they begin to make decisions that will impact their future. One of the most significant areas in which parents impact the decision-making process is in career choice and preparation. There are several factors that contribute on how adolescents take their parents into consideration on the matter of career choice: WHAT PARENTS DO FOR A LIVING

Obviously, the career path of the parent greatly influences an adolescent’s decision about his professional future. Teens can see the benefits and disadvantages of their parents’ careers and react accordingly. They might decide that a career in the same field is for them, or they might take the opposite route. ACTIVITIES PARENTS CHOOSE FOR CHILDREN

When parents choose activities for their children, they are instilling ideas about what is important. Extracurricular activities such as athletics, music, dance or art will have a long-lasting impact on how the child chooses a career when she is older. IDEALS PARENTS DEEM IMPORTANT

When children are young, they usually have no choice but to adopt the same line of thinking as their parents. Parents who place emphasis on responsibility, dedication and work ethic likely leave a good impression on their children’s future.

Because adolescents are new to the decision-making process about a career, it is important for parents to keep lines of communication open with their child. Specific discussions with children about career choices leave lasting effects on their decisions. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENT AND CHILD

Many parents put pressure on their children about the future without realizing the harm. Adolescents should feel free to explore any and all career opportunities. Adults who voice opinions about family businesses or high hopes for specific careers can negatively impact their adolescents.

Parents influence children’s career choices both intentionally and inadvertently. By the time children move into adolescence, they begin seriously considering their futures, often looking to their parents either as role models or for career advice. A parent’s approach to this can either inspire teenagers to explore a diverse set of potential occupations or to stick to a path they think their parents will approve of. Parents’ Careers

It’s no surprise that many people are the third or fourth generations of their families to work in the same profession. They have an insider’s glimpse into their parents’ occupations, making it easier for them to break in to the industry. If their parents’ jobs give them great satisfaction or provide a comfortable lifestyle, children see the perks early on, and may favor these careers over others. In contrast, if parents complain about their jobs or struggle to support the family on the income their jobs provide, children are more likely to seek more fulfilling or higher-paid roles. Parents often have an influence on the career paths their offspring pursue. A parent may urge a child into a vocation similar to their own, or to one that has demonstrated high earning power. You may find yourself attracted to a particular line of work because of your parents’ professional history, which likely has given you a first-hand perspective on that type of work. Activities

Parents who encourage their children to take music or dance lessons or to pursue sports sometimes influence them to commit to those activities full-time. The earlier a child is introduced to an interest area, the more time she has to explore it and strengthen her skills. Some people choose a career simply because by adolescence they’ve been involved in it so long it feels like second nature. The activities parents choose for their children also influences career selection. The more disciplines a child attempts, the better she knows her strengths and weaknesses. She also quickly learns what she likes and doesn’t like, and what she can envision herself doing for the rest of her life. Encouragement and Expectations

Adolescents often take their cues from their parents regarding what career doors are open to them. For example, data from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth revealed that in families where parents didn’t encourage their children to attend college, just 4 percent of teens decided to pursue higher education. This is in stark contrast to families where parents encouraged children to attend college, with 41 percent of those teens choosing to do so. Parents’ ideas about gender, race, socio-economic background and other characteristics also influence teens’ career decisions. If a parent suggests the family’s origins are too humble for the child to consider a political career, for example, she’ll likely select a less prestigious occupation. Parent-Child Relationship

Parents’ high standards sometimes influence children to pursue activities they think will win the approval of their parents. For example, some parents punish their teenagers for not earning straight As, or criticize them for pursuing art instead of a practical profession such as law or medicine. In these cases, a teenager might feel obligated to select a prestigious or high-earning occupation to earn her parents’ respect or to make them proud. On the other hand, when parents make it clear they have no specific expectations for their child’s career, she often feels free to explore a greater variety of professions, choosing one based on her own preferences instead of those of her parents.

A peer group is both a social group and a primary group of people who have similar interests, age, background, and social status. The members of this group are likely to influence the person’s beliefs and behavior. Peer groups contain hierarchies and distinct patterns of behavior. 18 year olds are not in a peer group with 14 year olds even though they may be in school together. During adolescence, peer groups tend to face dramatic changes. Adolescents tend to spend more time with their peers and have less adult supervision. Adolescents’ communication shifts during this time as well. They prefer to talk about school and their careers with their parents, and they enjoy talking about sex and other interpersonal relationships with their peers. Children look to join peer groups who accept them, even if the group is involved in negative activities. Children are less likely to accept those who are different from them. We tend to get influenced by the lifestyle of our peers.

Their thinking, their choices and their behavior influences us. We feel compelled to follow them. That’s peer pressure. It is beneficial to a certain extent. But its negative effects are more apparent. Peer pressure can be of two types, negative and positive. The section of society which is most vulnerable to the effects of peer pressure is of teenagers. Teenage years are the educative years of one’s life. It’s the phase they do their high school, go for higher education, and take up degree courses. They busy carving a career for themselves. They spend most of their time among those of their age – their friends, peers. Teenage is the most youthful period of life. At that age, they are young, enthusiastic, and ready to take life head on and eager to take in every little thing life brings their way. They enjoy the company of others their age, as full of energy as they are.

But this age is also the most dangerous. They are susceptible, anything can influence them and make them change, for better or worse. Many things will influence a teenager’s career decisions. Peer pressure can sometimes limit young people’s career aspirations. Encourage your children to think about when school is over – will it matter what their friends think? Many young people stick to careers that are safe and known. Give them examples of outsiders who have done well for themselves. Boyfriends and girlfriends can be an important influence on where a young person chooses to study, or whether they move to a certain town or city. ENDING

Career choices are decisions that should be carefully made because it affects the entire life of the individual; hence it is necessary that a study such as this should be carried out in order to study the relationship between peer group, parent influence and career choice in humanities among secondary school students. It would be a big help if counselors working directly with parents and peers especially as it affects career development should endeavor to lay more emphasis on the positive aspects of peer group and parental influence, while playing down on the negative aspect. This eventually may improve the career development prospects of our future workers.

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