It’s likely that by the end of elementary school, your child has been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” more times than you can count. Whether your child’s answer changes or remains the same, take their interest in a specific job as an opportunity for career exploration and teach them how jobs impact the greater community.
Career Exploration Resources
As your child gets older, it’s important for them to understand that jobs are often more than they appear to be on the surface. No matter what career they’re interested in, help them learn more about what it entails.
There are countless resources available to help your child learn more about careers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has an entire website dedicated to teaching children about careers. They have videos about different careers for students as young as fourth grade and a Career Exploration area that lets your child learn about new jobs based on the things they like to learn about and do.
Career Exploration Ideas
If your child is interested in a particular career, help them learn even more about it with these hands-on ideas.
- Visit your local library and look for books about the career
- Visit places in your community where someone with the career would work
- Interview someone in the career
- Set up a time to spend a day with a professional in the career and shadow them at work
- Find clubs or events in your community that tie to the career
Tie-in to Community
As your child is learning about different careers, you can also talk to them about the importance of working to earn money used to buy the things you need or want. Talk to your child about the role that everyone plays in helping your local community’s economy and how money moves around. For instance, if your child takes gymnastics lessons, the money you pay for them to participate helps pay the coaches’ salaries. Their coaches can then take that money to buy the things their family needs, like groceries and clothes. The purchases they make help pay the salaries of those working at a grocery or clothing store, thus continuing the cycle.