With schools winding down and winter break approaching, you may be wondering what you’ll do to keep your kids busy. Take advantage of this spare time to talk with your teens about their future. (It’s approaching sooner than you may think.) Whether you work in the construction industry yourself, see the potential in your child’s abilities, or are the parent of a child already interested in construction, keep reading. We share our top three tips to help you help your teen shape the career of their dreams.
Identify their interests and skills.
Parents, more than anyone else, know their children and their abilities. You’ve known them since the day they were born and have watched them grow, observing their skills, tendencies, and unique traits along the way. There’s no better guide to your son or daughter’s future than you.
When having a career-focused conversation, the important thing is to direct them to a career in which they can reach their fullest potential. Help your teen see their natural abilities and how they can use them in their career.
The toughest part might be deciding on the right route, as there are countless avenues available in the construction industry. Whether your teen has an innate understanding of technology, an adeptness at building with their hands, or a knack for problem solving, there is a skilled trade for them.
Give age-appropriate advice.
Once you’ve zeroed in on their strengths, it’s time to help them take action. But the best first step will vary, depending on your child’s age. If you are a parent to a junior high student or high school underclassman, encourage him or her to look into a career technical center or joint vocational center. These training programs are ideal for those with a clear vision of their future career paths, as they provide relevant experience even at a young age. Students get more out of their time in high school as they earn college credit that can be used toward their degree as well as obtain hands-on experience that will serve them well in a future apprenticeship and their career long-term.
It’s not too late for older teens to create a strong foundation for their careers in construction. Upperclassmen can begin their search to find the perfect post-secondary college, technical institute or certificate program. For those ready to earn as they learn, they can begin their search for an apprenticeship. Their classmates may be gearing up for college, but your teen will be laying the groundwork for a debt-free future. In what other career path can a young person earn as they learn?
Let them lead the conversation.
Though they won’t always admit it, parents’ support and guidance means the world to teens. Jr high and high school students are at an incredibly malleable age. But, even though teens trust their parents, they don’t always want to take their advice. And the likelihood of them actually latching onto one of your recommendations decreases when they’re inundated with your ideas, rather than coming up with plans of their own. Think of yourself as a co-pilot, rather than the drill sergeant when talking about your teen’s future.
When you support your child’s dreams, you’re giving them the best gift of all: a secure future. You can feel confident knowing that you are helping to set your teen up for success. In fact, they are sure to:
Earn great money: The average Ohio construction worker takes home more than $60,000 every year
Have many opportunities: There are nearly 220,000 open jobs in the Ohio construction industry. And, our state’s construction industry is expected to add 22,000 jobs by 2026. But, for every 4 people who leave, only 1 new person begins a career through an apprenticeship.
We need parental support to guide and grow the future generation of the construction industry. Thank you for carving out time during your teen’s winter break.
For additional information on how you can support your kid’s dream of working in construction, check out our guide for parents. Click here to download now.