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Following your Parents’ Career Path? How to Create your Unique Career Blueprint

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

Every young person who is on the verge of making critical life decisions, in terms of their college/university choices and which career path to choose, should be grateful for the support and security their parents have provided for them up until this point. The decision is ultimately theirs but most parents have been highly involved in their kids' academic life up until that point and want to call the shots because they just want what's best for their kids.

As the children get older, parents try to steer them to follow a certain career path. Sometimes, they fail to acknowledge the interests and aspirations of their child who is now a young adult emerging into the independent phase of their life.

Ibukun in a red top

Anyone born in the 70’s & 80’s will have first-hand experience of their parents’ choosing what they study, making their university choice, setting their career path: either based on their family business stream or their unfulfilled dreams. In addition, if you were born into a family of non-western culture, questioning or defying your parents is just not done! So, you will understand how intimidating it could be to attempt to break the news to your parents that you want to be a fashion designer or performing artist rather than study economics, business policy or medicine. However, if you do your research, set some clear goals, identify and design a clear career/vocational path and communicate these in a well-thought-out plan to your parents/carers, you would be surprised to note how receptive they can be! In most cases, parents/carers choose their children’s career paths out of fear that they would make the wrong choice and end up in dead-end careers. The youth and young adults can help educate parents by demonstrating that they are able to responsibly pave their own unique career paths.

The shortage of expert career guidance counsellors (due to dwindling budgets) in educational institutions truly does a disservice to our adolescents. I recently came across this organisation: WinningIvyPrep, which stirred up such a burning desire in me to take ownership and embark on the mission of coaching GCSE, A’Level students and their parents, but it will require the support of educators up and down the country to successfully implement. There is mounting evidence around the world of people electing to pursue vocational careers, because frankly, the statistic of 44% of students not knowing what to do with their degree is staggering. ( Combined with significant student loans most people earn a degree to do a job they find they are not interested in to pay off debt.

This is a problem!

We are committed to the responsibility of not just teaching our children to make a living but also teaching them how to live, full, well-rounded, balanced lives. Let’s face it, from approximately age 11 the de-parenting process begins and is accompanied by character-building, which helps our children to take responsibility for their actions, attitudes and emotions. As well as what to do career wise if given the chance to explore their options based on their passion.

Being able to say, “No!”, respectfully, to something that does not line up with who we are or bring us joy, equals, healthy boundary-setting. We can say no and still be loved and accepted, but the how matters. We as parents can start the partnership process by giving our student-children permission (not just a pass) to identify their passion in their formative years, thus later informing their degree/career/business choices.

Until next time…here’s some light reading for your perusal:

Contact Ibukun for more information on helping your young person identify their passion.

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