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What to do when your parents don’t approve of your career path

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Choosing your career path can be an incredibly exciting and rewarding process, but it’s not always easy. In fact, when you’re young and full of energy, convincing your parents to support your decision can be even harder than getting accepted into the career program in the first place!

If you’re currently having trouble talking to your parents about your chosen career path, here are some that might help you convince them that what you want to do with your life is right for you, and get their support in helping you to achieve your goals!

Don’t keep the dream a secret

Chances are, your parents want you to be happy. If you talk openly with them about your career goals and they still aren’t convinced that it’s a good idea, then consider explaining exactly why you believe it will make you happy.

Ask yourself what makes you passionate about a certain career or industry, and keep those reasons in mind while speaking with your family members. By working hard on something you love, someday soon you may be able to convince even your parents that it was indeed a good decision!

Take responsibility

If you’re 18 or older, it’s up to you and only you to create a plan for your future. Be honest with yourself about whether or not college is right for you—and if it is, choose one that’s affordable and whose field of study aligns with your passions. If neither of those factors is a priority for you, consider going through a non-traditional route, like taking an internship or volunteering abroad.

Explain why you want it

Parents tend to look out for our best interests, which is why you’ll often hear stories about them stepping in and trying to change their children’s major or career.

If they’re not happy with your choice of major, then they must know something you don’t—and it’s worth considering what that might be. Why are they against it? Do they feel you’re making a bad decision? Could there be some downsides that you haven’t considered?

Build their trust

If you’re a parent, you want nothing more than for your child to be happy in life. When that happiness means they choose a profession outside of their field of study or work at a company that doesn’t reflect their education, it can be difficult for parents to understand. But let them know you’ve given it serious thought and have done your research—it might help build their trust in you.

Listen and be patient

Sometimes, it’s not as simple as taking a good hard look at a parent’s objections and seeing whether they have merit. Sometimes, you just need to sit back and listen – and try to get inside their head.

Try empathising with them – perhaps they didn’t go through everything you went through (and are going through now), and they just want what’s best for you.

Don’t cave in

Don’t let anyone push you into a job that doesn’t make you happy. Many students with entrepreneurial inclinations go down easier paths, like accountancy or finance, because their parents pushed them in that direction.

Don’t cave in to parental pressure—you can still be successful and make money doing what you want! Remember, it’s not about how much money you make but how much value you provide others (and yourself) with it.

Author Bio:

His experiences working for top brands like Unilever and Samsonite inspired him to write ‘The Rules of Work. Shivank set out to provide non-bullshitty, fact-based career advice that helps millennial workers get more opportunities and grow their careers faster. This blog is where he documents the daily challenges he and his colleagues face. Check him out on OfficeProductivity.org.

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