Your child's future

10 Questions Families Must Answer About Their Child’s Future

Every family wants their child to move on successfully from high school to their future whether it be college, career, military, apprenticeship, gap year, or some other form of post-secondary education. Successfully transitioning from high school to whatever comes next can be scary. We all want them to forge ahead with confidence and clarity!

What stands in the way of this “confidence and clarity”?

We see two major obstacles: a lack of self awareness and career exploration. Each can be a hurdle to overcome on the way to future success.

Do you know the questions to ask?

When you go to the doctor with symptoms, he or she will use a screening process – a series of questions – to identify what injury or illness you may have.

To help your family, we’ve built a screening of sorts for you. These ten important questions can help your family take stock of how ready your student is for life after high school. They are built to jumpstart some conversations and deeper thinking.

The key is for you to answer as openly and honestly as you can. We believe taking a frank look at how you would answer these questions can lead to some productive next steps as you structure a path forward. Your comfort and ease of answering these questions helps you determine whether your student’s vision of their next steps is grounded in sound self awareness and career exploration or if there is still work to do.

Each family will approach this exercise a little differently because every family is unique! We know from experience that the questions can highlight areas of strength for your child, and they’ll also indicate some spots where work is needed.

When thinking about the future…

  1. Are they thinking about their future? Do they have a lot of question marks over their head as they approach the end of high school?
  2. Has your student “claimed a career” but you are not seeing any action to engage with this career or evidence that tells you they are taking steps toward this destination? As a parent, do you feel that this chosen career does not really fit with their strengths and other traits?
  3. Does your student have little to no excitement about their high school coursework (English, math, science, social studies, etc.)?
  4. Is your child talented in many areas and is unable to decide on a path because they are interested in a wide variety of things?
  5. Is your student listening a lot less to you, but you know they need to have important conversations about their future?
  6. Can your student articulate their strengths, values, traits, struggles, interests, lifestyle goals, etc. with confidence?
  7. Is your student struggling to choose a college major? Can your student identify a major or majors of interest so that your college visits are more productive?
  8. Is your child unable to identify potential career fields of interest? Is your child interested in multiple potential career fields and cannot effectively narrow the list? What has your child done to learn more about careers?
  9. When asked, does your child have “no idea” of what careers can be a fit for them? How will your student connect what they know about themselves to the careers of interest to them?
  10. Do you believe it would be beneficial for your child to engage in self assessment and career thinking with a skilled professional in this area?

Answering these questions with honesty can open your eyes about how well your student is prepared for what happens after high school.

Many families find that connecting their student to expert third-party thinking partner is the key. Without an outside voice (and a structured process), it’s possible for families to just get stuck in this phase and make no tangible progress.

Guided Self Assessment was created for this purpose and since 2012, we have coached students through in-depth conversations, teasing out the details, identifying a wide variety of potential careers of interest, and getting them started with career exploration. We would love to tell you about the process in a free 30-minute family meeting. (No sales pressure! That’s not our style. We will just share about what Guided Self Assessment is and is not, so your family can decide whether it is a fit for you.) Schedule your appointment with our online calendar.

We will leave you with one more question.

If your answers above indicate a less than clear path for your student, what magic event do you hope will occur which will give your student clarity about their future? Even if Guided Self Assessment is not a fit for your family, please be sure to give structured thought to these questions and take action so that your student can make decisions based on sound knowledge.


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