Graduation season nears. Excitement is beginning to fill the air. Students are beginning to plan their proms, pick out dresses and arrange transport. Schools are beginning to order caps and gowns and arrange the ceremony. Students in their penultimate year look on with a slight air of jealousy. The buzz gets louder and louder every day. In the background, the faint whisper of worry. These are all common career fears facing young people today, but how can you help your child navigate them?
A Gabbitas guest blog by Radeeyah Ebrahim and Tanishq Kumar of Career Fear who’s mission is to empower and encourage youth to take charge of their futures, to give students resources and opportunities previously out of reach, and to equip the world’s students to realize their ambitions.
Common career fears facing young people
Everyone worries about leaving school and heading on to bigger, scarier things. For high school seniors, the worries can be deafening.
The last two years of high school are, for most, a flurry of academic and social pressures. Big questions to be answered and the only person that can answer them is the student. Nobody can make a decision for them. This decision is one that will stick with them forever. Yes, it is possible to make a change, but the initial decision is a crucial one.
Today, we’d like to tackle a few of the most common questions students ask themselves and how you might be able to assist them in finding the solutions.
What do I want to study?
It might not always seem so, but you know your child better than anyone else. Sit down with them. List a few key personality traits and interests. Bounce a few ideas back and forth. Discuss. Challenge. Compare.
It’s easier than ever to find out more about careers online; resources like CareerFear are designed to help you and your child gain a little more insight into a certain career and lead to more varied and comprehensive perspectives. You can get in touch with people who work in certain careers easier than ever before, put your child in touch with them to talk a little bit more about what they do. Don’t be afraid to have conflicting careers on the same list. Nobody is just one thing.
There’s never a guarantee that circumstances in any career path will be optimal for your child, but beyond making a researched, informed, thought-out decision with your child, there’s little to be done. But please, please, do remember. This is their decision, not yours.
Where do I want to study?
In the UAE, while domestic universities are excellent and only improving, it is not uncommon for a student to want to go abroad for university.
When choosing a school, look at the specific programs your child wants to study, and apply to universities that offer them, as well as others that offer broader opportunities to allow for flexibility later on, if needed. Together with your child, decide on how many schools they’d like to apply to and pick a few ‘reach’ schools, a few ‘possible’ schools, and a few ‘safety’ schools.
Rankings, while valid metrics in some ways, can be very misleading in others. Don’t let them hold too much weight. University is as much about fit as it is about rigor and rankings. Students are deeply unique, both socially and academically. Your university search process must reflect this.
Indeed, take a step back and think critically about whether university is right in the first place. The educational scramble seems ubiquitous and overwhelming, but university, while fit for many people, isn’t necessarily for everyone.
Is this the right career for me?
This is a question only your child can answer. It may seem like they’re doing well in a certain field, or that they fit in a certain job, but if they’re unhappy it doesn’t matter anymore. Some of the most deeply analytical minds venture into the arts. Musicians and authors transfer into STEM fields.
Absolutely, consider metrics that will matter in the future like salary, versatility of career paths, and others – parents have meaningful first hand life experience that teens don’t. Do not, however, force anything on your child. Life can take unexpected turns and normally careers aren’t linear at all, instead, winding pathways through which people learn about life, and themselves.
The best you can do for them is support them and assist them with anything they might need. Support, trust, and assistance are invaluable during this period of time in your child’s life, and they will be grateful for it.
Graduation season brings with it excitement. But it also brings turbulence and stress. Your child needs you to be prepared, and involved. Remind yourself that your child is growing up and gaining their independence. The time has come for them to make their own decisions, with you by their side.
This guest blog was written by Radeeyah Ebrahim and Tanishq Kumar of Career Fear.
CareerFear is a non-profit organization created to help teens find their ideal careers and make smarter choices about their futures. Millions of students around the world don’t know what career they want to pursue in their lives; we’re trying to change that. Find out how Career Fear can help you.
Radeeyah joined the CareerFear team as the Head of CareerFear, UAE. She’s a 17-year-old South African student. She moved to Abu Dhabi when she was 8 and has lived here ever since. Radeeyah has taken it upon herself to find out the most pressing problems of today’s students and to address them — she’d like to make students feel heard and understood, which is a huge reason why she applied to join the CareerFear team. In her free time, Radeeyah enjoys reading, writing, and charity work. One of her biggest dreams is to publish a novel and help fund a free clinic for impoverished children in Africa and/or South America.
CareerFear was founded in 2015 by Tanishq Kumar, who now leads the organization as the Chief Executive Officer. Tanishq is 17 years old, and now goes to school at Westminster School, in London. At school, Tanishq is passionate about Biology and Physics, in particular. Proud that CareerFear has been of meaningful use to over 7,000 students, he is confident the company can grow to help many thousands more. Tanishq hopes the initiative will inspire youth to use community service as a supplement to their school education to learn about things by doing. At University, Tanishq hopes to study Computer Science, and then to pursue a career in biotech entrepreneurship. In other time, Tanishq likes to hang out with friends at the pool, play golf, and to read non-fiction.