11 Key Steps in Preparing Children for a Successful Career
Most millionaires are self-made. However, most of them have attained their accomplishments because of proper guidance.
What can parents do to set their kids up for career success? Following these 11 steps will pave the way for prosperity.
1. Seeing Good Role Models
Observational learning is a thing. Kids watch and mimic other people’s behaviors — including the adults at school, in the grocery store and on television. They can easily pick up the negative mindsets and poor habits their models exhibit, jeopardizing their future.
Children give considerable weight to the behaviors of their idols, which are often the people they find relatable. Young ones aspire to become the people they look up to. That’s why it is critical to surround them with successful, compassionate adults whose values you’d like them to adopt.
2. Thinking Creatively
Problem-solving is a timeless soft skill. It will be especially vital when humans become more cognitively lazy and over-reliant on algorithms and robots.
Children with a creative and flexible mindset will have the upper hand over others when they grow up. Presenting them with challenges they must address innovatively will train them to think outside the box.
Young ones are natural pragmatists because complex concepts and modern sensibilities don’t affect their judgment. Their wiring compels them to take the path of least resistance when solving any problems in front of them. Encourage them to think this way to navigate rules and seamlessly overcome real-world obstacles when they become decision-makers.
3. Embracing Continuous Learning
Successful people are lifelong learners. They’re constantly intellectually curious. An insatiable hunger for knowledge separates visionaries from average people.
Informal education is free and widespread because of the internet. Consuming appropriate on-demand media can broaden children’s horizons.
All parents want their offspring to have clear career paths. However, putting them in a box can do more harm than good. Let them explore various subjects to satisfy their wonderment and find their calling. Being interested in quilting, the mysteries of the Younger Dryas or Tupac’s life story doesn’t mean they won’t excel in their career.
4. Expressing Gratitude
Acknowledging the positive things other people do is a powerful relationship-building gesture. Even people who shun the spotlight love credit where it’s due. It makes them feel their work gets noticed.
Teach kids to say thanks when they get the chance, regardless of how mundane the situation is or who the recipient is. Examples are:
- Showing appreciation to the school custodian for ensuring everything is in order
- Giving them classmates a shoutout for their input on a project
- Thanking an instructor for being a patient explainer
Expressing gratitude can forge and strengthen bonds, which will go a long way in business and in life.
5. Practicing Mentorship
Nobody’s too young to learn the virtue of giving. Children mentoring other kids who aren’t as academically or athletically inclined can learn about generosity, empathy and patience. Being other people’s confidence booster is a terrific confidence booster because it reminds them they have value.
Moreover, reverse mentoring can do wonders for their self-esteem. Being able to coach someone more powerful than them can be empowering. It also teaches them humility, allowing them to be more receptive to the opinions of others junior to them later on.
6. Forming a Solid Sense of Identity
A clear sense of self is a crucial quality of future leaders. Knowing who they are, what they value and how they see themselves in society matters to understanding their thoughts, feelings and actions.
Identity formation is a never-ending process. Still, it’s essential to help children perceive their personality traits, abilities and behaviors as early as possible.
Guide them to develop healthy self-awareness. This way, they can realize their roles in life, recognize their strengths and weaknesses, pursue their passions, and make sense of their interactions with the world around them.
7. Choosing the Right School
Formal education is paramount. Kids learn foundation subjects, meet friends, discover new role models, find mentors and enhance their social skills in school.
Checking a school’s longevity, scrutinizing its curriculum, researching its achievements and reviewing its alum list are key steps to choosing the right academic institution for children.
To provide just one example, the Calvert School is the alma mater of people like John Waters and Julie Bowen, among other successful people. Producing a long list of notable alumni is a strong indicator that a school is a good choice, so do your research.
8. Being Adaptable
Keeping children in comfortable settings can be detrimental. They stop growing when the rules are familiar, so a change of scenery helps.
Moving to a new city, spending time abroad and immersing themselves in a different culture help expand people’s worldviews and succeed in various work environments.
9. Learning Multiple Languages
While more than 1.4 billion people use English, native Mandarin and Spanish speakers outnumber their English counterparts. Hindi, Arabic and French are also the mother tongue of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Monolingual English speakers can still get by in business, but being proficient in other languages can be advantageous in many situations. Training kids to be polyglots will open more doors for them professionally as the non-English-speaking world becomes more globally influential in commerce. The earlier you start exposing children to other languages, the easier it is to learn and retain.
10. Mastering Communication
The most successful professionals and entrepreneurs have one undeniable thing in common — they’re fantastic communicators.
Encouraging children to express their opinions, expand their vocabulary, articulate their thoughts, speak in public, and handle rejection with grace will pay dividends when making sales pitches and hosting presentations. Being engaging raconteurs to send their message across and using humor to make a bigger point are bonuses.
Furthermore, keeping up with connections is just as important as telling coherent stories. Expose them to various communication tools to touch base with important people — like beloved relatives — to show them practical ways to reconnect.
11. Having a Reliable Support System
Raise risk-takers because fortune favors the bold. Fear of failure guarantees failure, so risk-averse people rarely reach their potential.
Fortunately, children are natural-born risk-takers. However, they need supportive and reliable parents they know will predictably provide their needs to try something new. Such a situation creates a forgiving environment, giving kids room to make mistakes and learn from their setbacks.
Pave the Way for Prosperity
Success takes many different shapes and forms. A parent’s role is to guide their children, provide a safe environment and prepare them for the world ahead.