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What is the Career Development Process?

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”-- W. Edwards Deming

“No wind favors him who has no destined port.” -- Montaigne

The “career development process” that our children should follow involves much more than knowing the hot jobs and career trends. A natural born writer shouldn’t feel she has to become a computer technician just because computer technicians are in great demand right now! More than anything else, interests – and personality! – drive career success, and your child needs to have a clear idea of her interests, and personality, before she starts thinking about a career. 

Click on one of the links below to learn more about the Career Development Process:

What are the steps in career development?
What if the process doesn’t work?
Parent action plan
Links related to career development

Susan Quattrociocchi, Ph.D., an expert in career development, says, “Research indicates that the happiest people live according to their own values. They have a very clear sense of who they are and they expect to have a positive impact on the world. They see their work as meaningful. Rather than following a traditional ‘career path,’ they create their own work life, starting with a dream, filling in with skills, and persisting until they get what they want.”

(Source:“Information for Adults about Teens’ Future World of Work,” New Century Career Guide for Parents, by Susan Quattrociocchi, Ph.D.)

Don’t worry -- our children don’t need to develop a resume in first grade. Instead, they need to discover who they are and what interests them, develop imagination and confidence, and a belief in their abilities. One of the most important things we need to remember is that a child’s aspirations must come first. Just because the world of work needs a jillion more computer technicians doesn’t mean that your child should be one of them. Our children must be excited about their future!

But watch out . . . as we help them discover their interests, values, and what they hope to accomplish in life, we need to be sure to throw in a dose of reality. Let’s not accidentally mislead them about the reality of work. Don’t give them the idea that if they have a career they love, they’ll be blissfully happy in the world of work! Work is . . . work. That’s why we are paid to do it. In most cases, we wouldn’t do it for free. Work is not a daily dose of glory and fulfillment. While work is often rewarding, fulfilling, fun, satisfying, and so forth, it can also be pretty darn not so fun at other times. So, teach your child the realities of work, and help him develop the coping, stress management, and self-discipline skills he will need to be successful.

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