I too am a parent so I speak from this place. I also speak from someone who has been researching and putting herself in front on the career development, educated world. I cannot express enough how different this world is today from the one we grew up in. I say some for the better and some for the worse.

When guiding our children especially when it comes to their ‘career’ we, as parents, need to understand that our children will likely/most certainly not have a career. What they will have are many careers. In fact the number I have heard ranges from 15-30 careers and 200-300 projects by the time they are 30 (assuming they are 18 now).

How do you prepare your child for so much change? It begins with parents understanding that in order for our children to best prepare themselves they need to develop their life skills/soft skills/core competencies. This is about our children’s ability to not just make decisions and be leaders or team players, it’s also about their ability to effectively communicate and actively listen, ask questions, share their life skills through a story (people remember stories more than numbers) and the importance of building relationships and networking – face-to-face/telephone. By practising these life skills/soft skills/core competencies and making them second nature will only benefit your child and help when wanting to differentiate themselves from all the other millennial youth looking for work. Your child wants to be remembered and stand apart.

Unfortunately due to texting and online platforms our youth (including my children) have lost the ability to communicate. When I say communication I am talking about the three components of communication: words/texting/email, tone and body language. Words represent only 7% of the value of communication. So when our children ‘communicate’ through texting, email or social media platforms they are losing 93% of the value of communication.

I have been attending many events in the area of career development and every time the topic of career development comes up I say the same thing: it is not one career but many we need to prepare our children for.

Adaptability, flexibility and multi-tasking are things our children do right now when doing homework or just hanging out. These skill sets are ones that will benefit our children especially when thinking about moving from one project to another.

Precarious employment especially contract work is the way of the future. I have seen this not only amongst my friend’s children but with my friends who are being hired at more senior levels. It is interesting. My friend in on contract but they are paying for her benefits and taking off all the employer taxes – so she truly is not a contract employee. One of the benefits to contract is that if you are incorporated you can do write offs. I believe employers are using the contract method so that if work flow changes they can just let a person go by paying them minimal severance if any at all.

I think it is unreasonable to talk about loyalty in the workplace when there is no trust. Employers think the young are transient and leave on a dime. Well, employers will let you go if there is no work flow on a dime. It works both ways.

The other thing that parents MUST do is back off and let our children fail, fall, make mistakes and learn. Going from project to project allows our kids to learn what they like and what they don’t like. Also if they make a mistake, take responsibility and own up to it… then learn from it.

Our role as parents is to guide our children. To do so today we, as parents, must understand this world or defer to someone who does. There are more than five fields of study and I personally will encourage my children to have a wide range of disciplines so they can cross-function them into many different projects/jobs. The one thing I will do for sure is have them ‘work on’ their life skills. One way is to make them accountable and responsible.

Parenting is not all that bad…. by backing off a bit we will have more time for us and fun!

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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