Career DevelopmentParents and Career Development

Parents are natural career development mentors who can support students’ efforts to explore career options and can help them continue to enhance their decision-making skills.  It is important to know that potential employers, graduate, and professional schools choose to hire and accept young adults who are independent and capable decision makers and communicators. 

To encourage students’ career development during this maturational process, parents can:

  • Encourage students to research careers related to varied majors and employment trends.
  • Be aware that many students change majors and finding the right major is a learning experience, encourage them to use Career Services guidance resources.
  • Help students realize that matching their values, interests, and skills with an appropriate career will lead to their ultimate satisfaction; earning potential should not be the sole determinant of a career.
  • Support career building activities like volunteering, extracurricular clubs & leadership opportunities, study abroad, internships and cooperative education. Employers expect related undergraduate career experience—unpaid internships and volunteer positions are good investments of students’ time and will pay off in the future.
  • Encourage writing and continual additions to a resume.
  • Suggest enrolling in our one credit Life Career Planning courses: CAR 101 for first and second year students deciding upon a major; and CAR 198 for juniors and seniors, to assist them in enhancing their professional development and job search skills.
  • Expose students to the world of work, allow them to “shadow” colleagues and contacts you may have, while teaching the value and skill of networking.
  • Network with your friends and colleagues on your child’s behalf, but never conduct an internship or job search or call potential employers when your child should be doing so.
  • Applaud successes, but help them realize that dealing with failures is also part of the process.
  • Make clear that your student is primarily responsible for his or her career development.  Have students contact us and encourage them to attend our educational programs. We look forward to working with them!