Parents: This One’s For You!

by | May 4, 2022 | Video

In this video we share tips on how to guide your child in making career and college decisions.


StrengthsFinder for Students –
Holland Code Assessment –
Career Maze Assessment –
Rachel Macy Stafford –


We decided to use this time today on Work Your Best Life to talk to parents of students and really explore this whole idea of clarity and how we can help our students/young adults to really start to create a path and design a path for themselves and where to begin. What, after high school, this time of year, I know I get so involved in so many conversations of; granted I have a high schooler of majors, college visits, and I can just sense the panic in so many different parents of, are we doing this right?

Are we visiting the right schools? Are they making the right choices? It’s all about, is it right? Is it right?

So I thought we could help. It’s springtime. It’s that conversation that keeps coming up and it was like, let’s have a talk about it.

What’s so beautiful about the story you shared is just how much parents want to help their child. It comes from such a place of love and care and wanting them to be safe and successful in the future.

So I think that’s a beautiful place to come from. And our hope during this conversation is to give tips and ideas of how you can guide your students without necessarily giving them all the answers or enabling, but really being a support and helping prepare them for the future.

Yeah. And also to alleviate some of that parent panic of “doing it right”. And making sure that we’re preparing them enough and giving them all the answers, which we desperately want to help our kids do at every turn is, let’s prevent them from making that mistake.

When in the end, we actually kind of want them to make those mistakes, to figure out their own path and not the path that we’re creating for them.

Well, I guess a great place to start then would be by saying, if you are on this video watching, then you likely care a whole lot about your child and you’re doing a great job.

Everything will be okay. Yeah, for sure. Always we’ll be okay. We’ve rarely met clients where their kids don’t find something, a job to go out there and do.

It’s just a matter of when, how and how to get started. Yeah. So if you could tell one thing to parents about preparing their child for post-graduation, what would it be?

I think it’s to really help and guide and brainstorm with them ideas on exploration. I know that when my son comes to me and says, he wants to try something, I go, oh my gosh, yes, let’s what can we try?

And there, sometimes kids don’t even know where and how to try things and for different reasons. And I think giving them that opportunity to find those different brainstorm options, whether it’s part-time jobs, internships, different courses to take hobbies, to pursue, there’s so many different ways they can explore.

What about you? First of all, you make that sound so easy. Heather, The whole time you were saying it, I’m thinking as a parent myself, I just want to do it for her.

I just want to help her. I just want to make this easy. I probably know the answers about where she’d be successful and what she should try and the paths that seem to be working and make good money.

And I just want to fast forward it and head my daughter down that career path. So I want to say, if that sounds difficult to any other parents on this call are not alone and it’s still hard because the journey has to be theirs

The journey has to be the students’. And that means that some of the paths we’ll head down, we might think are wrong turns and they have to figure that out for themselves when we fast forward and do that work for them,

We’re just delaying that moment where they have to figure it out for themselves. Absolutely. Yeah. I think so many times we think we know best; we’re certain we know best.

And a lot of times we don’t because we might have the same genes as our, our students, as our children, as our young adults.

But the reason why we find satisfaction from different things is so different and how we’re wired is so different and helping them understand that in themselves is so tricky.

Because again, you think, you know, and a lot of times we don’t So true. So you asked a question a second ago of what, what I say is the one piece of advice.

And I think that would be, we oftentimes want to start out there to see what’s available in which path we should go down.

And really the journey starts here within, for young adults to start really understanding who they are and what they’re about, what they’re really good at.

And some of us get lucky enough to explore some of that during high school, but not all of us. I definitely was one where I was hitting the marks.

I was getting good grades in school. I was in sports and I didn’t really try or experience things outside of my small little world.

And it was when I was in college that I learned a whole lot more about myself. And I think that story has seemed to resonate with so many others too.

So it really starts with figuring out who we are. And again, if we didn’t get that in high school, sometimes the moment starts senior year where we start exploring volunteering or even post-college, but it starts with really understanding what you’re drawn to, what you’re great at and how that can be applied in the world before you start attaching job titles and career paths to it.

Yeah. I think knowing your own strengths and helping your students realize those strengths that they have and how they’ve applied them in the past or how they’re applying them is really cool thing that a parent can help even just saying out loud, naming it and saying, wow, you know, when you did that, you were really showing and teaching other people how to do something, or, wow, that’s really amazing that you are so empathetic and you use that in this instance.

And it sounds silly, but when you actually say it out loud, they’re going, oh yeah, I guess I did do that.

And I think that young adults sometimes lack that ability to connect the dots of, oh, I have this strength and this is how I used it.

And so that’s another way I think parents can help is really showing them not telling them, but seeing something in them and then going, oh, I really recognize this is how you use that. Gold!

That’s such good advice, right there, such tangible advice that I think that we can all start applying today or our relationship with our kids besides the fact that don’t, we all love to hear what we’re really great at.

And somebody noticed something amazing at us When the time comes and we’re ready for it. We will then remember that and apply it in a situation and start growing.

And that strength and confidence starts growing in that area. Yeah, that’s what I was just going to say. I think another bonus of doing that is really giving them that confidence, starting to build the confidence in certain areas.

They might not yet realize how they’re going to use it in a work sense out in the world. But if you continue to name that, they’re really good at things.

They’re like, oh, I’m not going to be good at everything. But I know this has been mentioned several times and they might actually start saying it out loud to other people, whether it’s in a part-time job situation or at a group activity where they’re like, oh, I can lead this group.

I’ve been told that I’m good at that in the past kind of thing. It gives them confidence to try new things that they might not have before.

Yes. And I think it’s such a great place to, to build a relationship with our child over those things we’re noticing. Teenage years tend to, for parents, tend to be about keeping our kids within the guidelines and we’re constantly telling them what they’re doing wrong and where they’re getting in trouble.

That these moments of noticing what they’re doing right. And how cool their strengths are, can be just a wonderful bonding moment.

Oh my gosh. Yes. It doesn’t always work because they’re teenagers. But if you keep at it, I think a lot of times, again, even if they pretend they’re not listening it’s sinking in some way, some form.

And they’ll remember it later when it comes up again, that it’s been stated and that, that, oh, I can really build on that.

And that’s great. I’m glad you brought that up because as a parent of a teen, I know that so many times I say things and I’m like, he didn’t hear a word.

I said, and then later, long time later, he’ll repeat something. I’m like, oh my gosh, he heard it.

It actually even sunk in briefly for a moment. And it’s planting those seeds that they might not know right then, but they might use later.

Absolutely. I think it’s one of the reasons that our program has been so successful is that, teens do tend to listen to other adults…that aren’t parents and take that guidance from other people.

So I’m sure your son will have a guide. Who’s not you alon his journey too. And the same is true for so many of the students that go through our program.

I’d love to share with any parent listening, what we do in our program, because they can absolutely do this themselves.

If they have their relationship where they can be a guide for their young adults. Yeah. If they’re in that rare circumstance where their team always listens to them, you can absolutely do it all on your own.

Totally. And really the magic is in, letting the student get to know who they are, what makes them unique, even in adults.

Oftentimes we have no idea that things that come easy to us are not easy to everyone. So it’s starting to help them understand all the treasure of who they are.

and then starting to explore those areas. So when in discovering, the StrengthFinder student edition is a great resource.

We also love Holland code. And we like Omnia career maze is another wonderful assessment. Yeah. You can take any kind of those personality/strength assessments on your own.

I think the magic in those assessments is really, again, understanding once you’ve taken them, how you can apply that and how you can start to test and try.

So I know that that’s one thing I love about our program is really the brainstorming with the student and with the parents too, of, okay.

You’re really strong in strategy or you’re really strong in ideation. What does that mean? How do you use it? ,And just because someone has the same strength, the reason they want to use that strength or how they want to use it is so different.

So the combination of different assessments really helps us understand how we can be a resource in helping them brainstorm, how they can go out there and test and use those different strengths that they have, and also understanding why it’s important to them or why they like it or how they’re.

they were just born that way, like you said before, I love that idea and making people aware that you think that’s easy because you were born that way.

But I promise that specific thing isn’t easy to everybody and letting them understand that that’s a real gift, not just something that everyone can do.

Yes. And even when we recognize that we’re really great at something, we don’t often understand how that can be deployed in a work setting.

So we’d have people who can strike up a conversation with anyone. And I think that comes easy to them. A bunch of other people can do that too.

Well. We get a chance to share with them that that’s unique, the way that they can talk with anyone and give them different career paths that would best fit that strength of theirs is so cool to see the spark.

The other piece is that it’s not just about their strength by itself, it’s about their strength plus their passion areas or areas of interest.

Because for instance, client services is a great area for anyone who is really great at connecting with people and striking up a conversation with anyone.

Well, what area of client service are; they in health care? Are they in advertising? That is going to depend on where their focus and their passions that, so it’s really putting these pieces together that start to paint the picture.

Yeah. And understanding the why behind it. I think I’ve mentioned before, like, even if your kid is only into video games and I’ll use Fortnite as an example, you can use all of those things to really explore about them, their strengths and what they like and what their, where their passions lie.

Because Fortnite is a game where there’s a whole bunch of different areas. Do you like the building? Do you like the strategy?

Do you like thethe teamwork, the comradery of it, you know, being in a squad, whatever. And if you really can look at all the different activities they’re doing and connect some dots for them so that they know, oh, you recognize, oh, buildings, your favorite part in Fortnite?

Are there other instances where you like to build stuff, like have some conversation where you’re really asking about their interest and understanding and helping them apply it in different settings?

I think that’s another cool tip. Yeah. That’s awesome. That is a great tip. And I think you gave a great example of how you can use any circumstance to help show them what they’re focusing on and what they’re really great at.

And really the areas of our program that we go through are their strengths and their super powers. We talk about their interest areas, their values and their needs, and those four together give north star.

We don’t give any magic answers about, we don’t give a list of five career paths to go down. We give a north star of what your interest area is, broad look at different career paths and a guide on how to start exploring those, exploring your options is really where you start to get that feeling when you’re in the zone, when it’s for you.

So we want students to go out and test and try and find that piece on their own. Yeah. I love that.

I think it’s so helpful. And I know Dr. Harkness who started career design. This was a real passion point for her.

She really wanted to be at the root of what’s causing so much dissatisfaction in careers. And I think so much of it comes from not knowing where to even begin or to follow maybe a path that your parents had taken, or just something that you’ve known in the past.

Instead of like you said, what’s in here and understanding yourself. Values are a huge part of it, which we think, oh, young adults, they don’t know what they value yet.

And it’s really not true. They really have, there’s a deep sense of what they value very early in life. And so we try to dig in and help them understand and discover that and figure out the alignment between all of that.

I think it all fits together nicely. And those four things are so important. And you can really start to understand them at a younger age than I think most people think. Probably the most important and cool thing to me is that this north star and this guide, doesn’t just serve them in their first choice.

First career, they’re going down. It serves for life. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a moment throughout their career where they think,,, is this all there is? This doesn’t feel right for me.

And when you have a guide to go back on, it allows you to go back and say, okay, what was important to me?

Who am I at my core? And how can I make a choice moving forward? So again, I think this absolutely is work that parent could do with their young adults.

If the relationship is right, we just absolutely love getting to do it with students though. Yeah. These same skills can help them pick courses, majors, jobs.

If they decide not to go to school, different extracurricular activities, it’ll really help them understand all kinds of different things that all align with things that are fulfilling to them and bring them joy and happiness.

So, Absolutely. That’s my favorite part too. We hope that we’ve helped with, you parents out there that are stressing out about this time of year and what the heck the future’s going to hold, because I know that brings a ton of anxiety for all parents andyeah.

Reach out to us if we can help any further, we want to be a resource for that. If you’re interested, check out, we have a complimentary video that’s geared towards students.

You might take a look through that and see if it’s something that you want to share with your students. Yeah.