Tips for parents and ways to connect
It is common for students to change their major several times while in college. This can be challenging for even the most patient parent. You’ve probably also heard that most people change jobs … even careers… several times over a lifetime. This reality calls on parents to be understanding, open-minded and supportive.
Embrace career exploration. College is a time of exposure to new ideas, increased knowledge about careers options, and trying out new interests and skills.
Here is how you can help:
You can support
• Encourage exploration and new experiences
• Be open to interests, ideas, and values that are different than yours
• Really listen to what your son or daughter has to say
• See the situation from son's/daughter's perspective
• Allow room for mistakes and redirection
You can reflect
• Talk about things your son/daughter loves to do or study
• Help objectively evaluate strengths and weaknesses
• Provide non-judgmental listening and honest feedback
You can inspire
• Discuss the process of setting realistic goals and objectives
• Speak positively of what steps have been accomplished
• Initiate conversations on career plans, listen, respond, and ask questions
• Follow up periodically, and gently motivate your student to take action.
• Suggest an internship or part-time job to your son/daughter. This will provide valuable on-the-job experience.
• Suggest visits to our office, early and regularly
You can connect
• Refer your son/daughter to colleagues, friends, neighbors, parishioners, family, and community members with experience related to his or her interests. Share your professional network for career research
• Offer encouragement to approach people and build networking skills
• Suggest your son/daughter make connections with faculty; the first year in college is the time to develop the habit of getting to know instructors.
You can participate
• Share your work experiences with current students and provide insight into career paths
• Share job and internship opportunities with our office
• Perform Mock Interviews and provide authentic practice interviews to help better prepare students for the real thing.
• Participate in a Panel or Workshop and share your expertise.