Five Ways Parents Can Help Their Kid’s Career

For the past two and a half years, I’ve worked with a lot of seasoned professionals.

Most are executives who are 15+ years older than me, have a family and have been in the industry for a while. Recently, I spoke with an executive who has a kid in high school and we were talking about college and careers. He then revealed something very interesting to me; he expressed that he didn’t know how to help his kid figure out and be what he wanted to be.

It was hard for me to sympathize with him, not having any kids myself, but then I looked at this valid concern from a different angle; the kid’s point of view.

I thought, what would I want my parents to do for me along my career path? It varies for everyone, but I think there are five key things many young pros can agree on about parents’ involvement in their career.

  1. Support me no matter what: Even if you don’t agree with my career choices, offer your opinion and concerns, but ultimately give me your blessing. Don’t be afraid to let me fail, it’s how I will learn and become a better person and professional.
  2. Offer advice: I don’t always ask for your advice, but offer it anyway. Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten was unsolicited. If you can sense I’m struggling and I’m not asking for help, take that as your cue to enlighten me.
  3. Help me when you can: If you or someone in your network can help me advance my career, offer me your help. Even if I don’t ask for your help or you know I won’t take it, it’s nice to know you want to support me.
  4. Do not threaten me: Do not tell me that if I don’t do something along my career path that you will stop talking to me or punish me in some other way. Let me make my own decisions and just be there for me during my successes and failures.
  5. Check in with me: Make sure I’m happy with what I’m doing. Sometimes I need someone to ask me how I feel about where my career is heading to actually reflect on it and make sure it’s still going in the right direction and I’m happy.

What else should parents do to help their kids along their career path?

4 thoughts on “Five Ways Parents Can Help Their Kid’s Career

  1. Thanks for doing a blog on parent’s involvement (or non-involvement) as the case may be on their son’s or daughter’s career. I hope your mom and I did the “five key things” in helping you along your way. I know we have been supportive and sometimes might have offered more unsolicited advice than you cared to digest but I think you also knew it was because we love you which is really the basis of your “five things”, LOVE. Keeping an open, unselfish and mutually respective dialogue is so very important as well. We love that you are sharing the fruits of everything you have learned so far in your career and daily lessons in life. Keep up the great work and we wish you all the best in new job. We love you, Mom & Dad

  2. Lindsay, Love the 5 key things! As parents we only want the best for our kids. We always
    want our kids to know how proud we are of them and that we are always here to pick you
    up if you fall. Sometimes “Us old folks have good advice” It’s nice to know that you will
    listen and do what’s right for you. Love You Very Much!

  3. Thanks for your additions and all of these five were inspired by the amazing things you and mom have done for me along my career path, like supporting me while I was doing unpaid internships, helping me make the right career moves and connecting me with key people within your network. All of these things have gotten me to where I am today and I couldn’t have done it without you both. I love you!

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