Two of the hardest questions teens face as they work their way toward high school graduation are:
- What are you going to major in?
- What career are you working towards?
The issue with these questions is that teens have a limited exposure to the wide variety of subject areas and career choices available in today’s economy. They also lack the work experience needed to understand their interests and the relationship these interests have to their skill set. This understanding takes time to develop but, in the meantime, teens can raise their awareness of their interests and strengths by noticing key characteristics as they mature.
So instead of asking what do you want to be, we can help teens become more aware of their interests and skills sets by asking these questions:
- What academic subjects interest you most?
- What is the first subject you choose to study?
- What activity or area of study seems to come easier for you than others?
- If you have to spend an hour in a lecture, what topic would you choose?
- If you have to spend an hour doing an activity, what would it be?
In what subjects does your student say, "This is easy?" What subject does your student choose to study first? What types of books or topics does your student gravitate toward? How does your student choose to spend their free time?
As you begin to observe the areas of interest and areas of easy learning (a/k/a talents) in your student, consider helping them sort the interests and talents between what may be a hobby, a job, or a career.