By Mandi Koch, Graduate Coordinator, Internships & Employment, UMBC Career Center
When we think of career development, we typically think of an individual affair involving deep introspection and soul searching, but in reality, career development is most effective when students receive support from a multitude of sources. Essentially, effective career development takes a village. That village includes the UMBC Career Center and faculty, but it also importantly includes you as parents and family members.
So, as we prepare to come together as families and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, it is an opportune time for you to connect with your student about career development.
Yeah, Yeah, I know. When you attended orientation, we told you to let your student be independent, make their own decisions, and for goodness sake do not hover over them like helicopters! True, we don’t want you to hover, but you are still a vital source of support to your student. The ultimate goal is to involve parents and family members in a way that encourages students to actively engage in career development.
So, what can you do as a parent or family member to encourage your student to do just that? The answer is quite a bit! The most effective route is to start an on-going conversation (not an inquisition). Approach your student with curiosity and the intention to empower them to begin and/or continue the career development process. The UMBC Career Center has a great timelineon our web site detailing recommended benchmarks by class level: Check this source out together to help guide your conversation today and in the future.
How else can you help this holiday? Students don’t know what they don’t know, so sharing your own story of your career trajectory can be immensely helpful. It provides students with information about real experiences in the working world, which will help them see career development as an ongoing process where perfection is not realistic. Don’t be afraid to put the Thanksgiving holiday to work on this matter. You and your student can create a larger family conversation about career development over turkey and stuffing with relatives sharing their experiences for all younger family members to hear. It may just make for better, more pleasant dinner conversation than the state of politics or the weather.
Need other ideas? Let us count the ways! Check out this guide for parents provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).