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Career Planning Process for Parents

First Year

Developing a blueprint

Questions they might ask:

  • What major should I choose?
  • What is a college education all about?
  • How do I find out what I want to do with my life?

Consider this:

As new students, their concerns about majors and careers may be just beginning. By planning how they will involve themselves in different courses and experiences and by exploring career ideas with an academic advisor and a career professional, they will begin to be responsible for their own future.

Recommendations for parents:

  1. Although it may seem helpful and appropriate, refrain from suggesting or selecting your son or daughter’s major for him or her. Instead, ask about likes, dislikes, strengths, and goals.
  2. Let your son or daughter know that they should consider college as a preparation for life. The decisions they make in college will influence their future. Support those decisions.
  3. Remind them that they don’t have to decide on a major right away; however, encourage them to make a tentative career choice. Know that change is possible.
  4. Recommend that they start their personal development by joining at least one student organization, helping them develop skills employers value.
  5. As part of the Cornerstone class, all students will gain exposure to Career Services. They will take part in a self-assessment activity. Ask them to tell you about this over breaks.
  6. Remind them to read the university catalog to become familiar with available majors.
  7. During summer vacation, encourage them to get a job with opportunities to gain work experience and improve interpersonal communication skills.       

Sophomore

Building a foundation

Questions they might ask:

  • Is this the best major for me?
  • How do I plan a meaningful and marketable education?
  • How can I develop my work related skills?

Consider this:

Your son or daughter may want to declare a major at this time. By meeting with a career professional, students can select the best major while determining what career fields are associated with specific majors. Students can “try on” careers through job shadowing, alumni networking, and internships.

Recommendations for parents:

  1. Suggest that they talk with a career professional and take career inventories to help confirm their choice of major.
  2. Ask them to explore ways to gain hands-on experience through internships, part-time, and volunteer work.
  3. Help them choose electives giving them additional skills.
  4. Persuade them to participate in resume writing and interviewing activities through the career services office.
  5. During summer vacation, encourage them to get a job with opportunities to gain work experience and improve interpersonal communication skills.

Junior

Evaluating Progress

Questions they might ask:

  • How do I identify specific job possibilities to go with my major?
  • When should I start thinking about my job search?
  • Is graduate/professional school for me?

Consider this:

Graduation may not be as far off as they think. The junior year is not too early to identify and gather information about companies and/or graduate/professional schools. Students need to know the steps necessary for gaining meaningful employment or for gaining admission to graduate/professional school.

Recommendations for parents:

  1. Ask them about talking with a Clarke University Alum through AlumNet (electronic networking program with alumni) or a professional through the job shadow program. These contacts can provide students with specific information about their areas of interest.
  2. Support them in joining student and professional organizations related to their majors or careers.
  3. Help them polish their resume and stress that they have it critiqued by a career professional.
  4. During summer vacation, encourage them to get a job with opportunities to gain work experience and improve interpersonal communication skills.      
      

Senior

Deciding and committing

Questions they might ask:

  • How do I identify my employable skills?
  • Is interview preparation really necessary?
  • What exactly is the job search process?
  • What am I going to do after graduation?

Consider this:

It’s time to make final decisions about career options. Students should stay in touch with the career services office for both information about job openings and assistance with personal presentation skills.

Recommendations for parents:

  1. Insist that they develop a job search plan complete with strategies that will work for them.
  2. Assist them in purchasing a professional suit complete with shoes that will be used when attending career fairs, interviews, and graduate/professional schools.
  3. Help them practice interviewing skills by asking them questions. Encourage them to participate in a mock interview.
  4. Encourage them to use the career services resource library and web page to research companies and regularly check job vacancies.
  5. Help them develop a network of contacts consisting of family and friends.

Parents and students are welcome to stop by or call career services anytime. If you would like an individual appointment, please call in advance to schedule.

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