24 Choosing a career and figuring out how to prepare for that career can be difficult. Students need their parents to help them explore and evaluate their career and education options. Identify abilities and interests As a parent, you know your child better than anyone. You can, therefore, be an invaluable resource in helping your child identify his/her interests, talents, strengths, and values. Try to help your child see how his/her personality traits and abilities can be valuable assets in the right career. Remember, there are many talents that aren’t measured in school (e.g., the ability to work with people, lead- ership abilities, creativity). Explore career options Take some time to help your child explore his/her career options, and encourage your child to do the following. u Read and do research To help your child learn about specific careers, go to www.bls.gov/ ooh. This government website provides accurate, concise information on hundreds of careers. u Talk to people / Job shadow Encourage your child to ask the adults he/she knows about their career. If possible, arrange for your child to job shadow someone for a day. u Get some firsthand experience The best way for anyone to learn about a career is to get some firsthand experience. Encourage your child to take a related course, get involved in a related activity, or find a part-time job in a related career field. Volunteering for a community service organization is another excellent way for students to learn about a career area. For information on how to help your child plan and prepare for a career, go to www.mappingyourfuture.org. Career and Education Options