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Coping with Your Child’s Unconventional Career Choice

Do you see your kids becoming fascinated by an unconventional or artistic career? Are they passionate about pursuing a career in the arts—directing, acting, playwriting, singing, dancing, or music?

What sounds like passion for your child might be a difficult career possibility for you as a parent. You might have envisioned your child in a field with a better sense of job security, safety, and a defined career path. Something more traditional like engineering, law, medicine, or management might be right up your alley. However, your child is constantly talking about pursuing a career in an area that you would have never even considered for them. So, how do you react?

How do you come to terms with their offbeat career choice or get them to see eye-to-eye with you on their career choices?

Here are a few tips to help you navigate through such situations and make the right call to secure your child’s future:

1. Keep your Calm

So your child wants to be an artist, but you're concerned about his decision and want him to take a sensible career path instead? Take small steps and maintain your composure. Don’t be apprehensive, disapprove, or approve of their ideas without listening to them, and whatever you do, don't try to impose your opinions on them.

Give them your undivided attention, respect their opinions, and make them feel important. The process of choosing a career is difficult, and your impulsive response could undermine their self-assurance and belief. Guide them carefully as they weigh their options.

2. Refrain From Being Over-Protective

As parents, it can be challenging to allow your kids to be in a dangerous situation, so you try to protect and help them through every difficulty. However, when it comes to their career (the first big decision of their adult life), let them go on their own. If you keep on spoon-feeding them, they will never get to experience life by themselves and will always consider you as a fallback option. Future difficulties will make them reliant on you, which will undermine their independence and self-assurance.

Let them make their own mistakes, draw lessons from their own experiences, and most importantly, let them decide for themselves what career path they want to take.

3. Seek an End-to-End Commitment

A lot of times, children are attracted to a particular career due to the glamour value associated with it, which makes their choice driven by interest much more than anything else. As parents, you need to figure out if they are genuinely interested and serious about pursuing it and are fully aware of all facets that come with the said career, positive or otherwise.

Encourage them to do their own research regarding their choice to learn as much as they can about the field they wish to pursue – the career path itself, the challenges, and a typical day in the career, etc.

4. Safeguard their Future

In addition to working on the career research, you need to inspire them to prioritize their professional development. Make sure they understand the value of having a solid education and that, even if they decide to pursue a career based on their talents, they can still protect their career path by having a degree in a related field as a backup. Expose them to the realities of the business by allowing them to take part in a singing contest or a theatrical production and observe how they manage to pull it off. This will not only strengthen their commitment to their passion but also motivate them to conduct in-depth research and assess their position in the global marketplace.

5. Value smart risk-taking and hard work

Hard work is essential to attaining success in any field; supplement that with directed strategy, and you’re absolutely golden! Career planning requires efforts across all fronts— the research, the planning, and the implementation. Appreciate the hard work your little one is putting in, even if it means investing time in researching their choice. Make sure you appreciate your child at every step of the way.

To conclude, perfect career decision-making is vital to anyone’s professional success. Your child will need your help, support, and solid affirmation at every step they take. That being said, they will want to try things on their own and spread their wings, and as parents, you should make sure you let them. You just need to be careful and let them take their own calculated risks; encourage them to be resilient and to never give up easily.

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