The Importance of Family Influence on Career Decision Making
Family influence is an important force in preparing teens for their role in the workplace. Young people can form many of their attitudes about work and careers as a result of interactions with their family.
What parents do for a living; where they live; their education, knowledge and skills; what they earn;
and how they spend their time and money, have a huge influence on their child’s career decisions.
It is important to remember that the career development process begins long before the adult years. Research interviews that have been conducted with youth and adults identified that a proactive
Family interaction significantly contributes to career readiness. Some behaviours of proactive families demonstrate that they:
- are well organised, cohesive, and expressive
- speak their mind and manage conflict positively
- seek out ways to grow
- are sociable
- make decisions through democratic negotiation
- encourage individual development
- are emotionally engaged
The research also shows that environmental opportunity, as well as one’s own merits and attributes influence a person’s choice of career.
Therefore, it is evident that the family environment and background forms a vital role from which career planning and decision making evolve.
The absence of support, guidance, and encouragement can lead to “floundering”, which is the inability to develop and pursue a specific career focus. Lack of support can also take the form of conflict, when a parent pressures a child toward a particular career and may withdraw financial and emotional support for a career path that is not of the parent’s choosing.
For this reason, it is important that families are armed with the right tools to make educated decisions when advising their loved ones on a career path. So what can parents/families do to ensure that their loved one is making the best career decision?
Steps parents can take in encouraging a child’s career development include:
- encouraging the development of such basic work attitudes as promptness, respect, and responsibility
- stressing that the work children do in school is good, important, and related to the larger world of work
- helping children understand that no one individual can be completely competent in all things
- providing a climate conducive to study
- serving as the connecting link between home and study
- encouraging participation in diverse experiences outside of study, including leisure activities and part-time jobs
I’m the Founder and Co-Chair of leading education and training facility, The Australasian College Broadway (www.tac.edu.au). We are all about enhancing lives through skills and knowledge. We encourage people looking to study with us to bring their family along to interviews with our course advisers. We understand that studying and choosing a career path is a big decision, especially for school leavers.
For parents, attending and showing interest in a child’s career decision is essential in helping their child feel confident about their career choice. Aim to get as involved as they’ll let you.
The College has a family philosophy where we tailor many of our information sessions to parents, because we know that ultimately, parents hold a huge influence over the overall outcome of a their child’s decision. Therefore, ensuring that a person’s family is across all the details is vital in us understanding each person’s decision to study with The College or not.
About the Author:
Maureen Houssein-Mustafa OAM is the Founder and Co-Chair of MHM Australasia Pty Ltd, the parent company of The Australasian College Broadway.
The Australasian College Broadway is one of Australia’s leading Vocational Education and Training (VET) organisations.
As part of their giving back to the community, The College recently partnered with charity, Dress for Success Sydney in a $570,000 pledge to help support disadvantaged women in securing a full time job.
For further information: Visit: www.facebook.com/AustralasianCollege or www.tac.edu.au or call 02 8587 8888.