How Can You Help Your Student in the Career Decision Making Process

It is important for students to realize that the career decision making process, is just that, a process. It is not an event. Individuals have to continuously make decisions regarding future careers. Making sound and informed decisions is the key to good choices. Understanding oneself (interests, skills, values) also plays a major role in the decision making process. It is important to take responsibility for and own the decisions made. 

Parents want the best for their children. Parents can best support their students by facilitating the decision making process. That doesn't mean making the decision for them--even if you are footing the bill. You want your student to enjoy their life's work and be fulfilled, not just earn a paycheck. It is possible to find some fulfillment and enjoyment from a career. We don't want your student's entire identity to be wrapped up in a career, but we do want them to find satisfaction in going to work upon graduation. 

Ways you can help:
1. Help Your Student Understand Interests, Passions, Skills and Passions. You know your children better than anyone. Remind them of what they wanted to be when they were five. Most people don't change very much over time. They become more and more of who they are.  Career Planning and Development offer a variety of assessments to help your student identify interests and discover their personality type which, in turn, will help him/her make an informed decision. 

2.  Encourage Your Student to Learn. College is all about learning. They will learn from an academic standpoint, but they also will learn about themselves. Encourage your student to do research on various majors. Encourage him/her to job shadow someone with a career in which they are interested. Encourage him/her to conduct an information interviews to better understand what the job is really like. 

3. Help Them Understand the Value of Networking. The number one way to get a job is by networking. This means that is vital that students make good impressions while in college. Most students spend a lot of time online searching help wanted ads. This can lead to a job, but the most productive job search tip is to network and build positive relationships with others. 

4. Affirm the Value of Building a Resume and Getting Experience. Our office will sit down with your student one on one and help them craft a resume. We want our students at the University of North Alabama to be as marketable as possible when they present themselves for part-time jobs, full-time jobs, and internships. We encourage all students to become involved on campus as soon as possible in organizations and activities. We ask that you encourage them to do so, as well.