”Those are both perfectly fine questions, as far as they go. “But they don’t go nearly far enough,” Fortgang says. “Counselors — and parents—need to dig deeper. We should be asking, ‘Why?’” Knowing what you’re good at, for instance, is only part of the equation, since being good at something doesn’t mean you’ll care enough about it to keep doing it for decades, or leading others who do.
“The key is to know, not just what you have an aptitude for, but how you might be able to apply that ability to something you really care about,” says Fortgang. She adds that some young people choose a career because of a kind of vow they’ve made to themselves, “usually either to choose or to avoid choosing work that’s similar to one or both of their parents.”
Much more useful, and more likely to hold up over the long run, is to get kids thinking about what kind of future they envision for themselves.
Fortgang has come up with a formula for that: Who + Why = What. The ‘who’ is all about self-knowledge (“which is difficult for 17-year-olds,” she notes), including values, strengths, and “what you like so much that time seems to fly by while you’re doing it.”
‘Why’ is about questions like, “Is there a problem in the world you want to solve?” and “What drives you?” A combination of those answers leads to ‘what’—a blueprint for which skills someone needs to acquire, and what kind of work he or she should seek, to start creating the right career.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Why High School Career Counseling Steers Kids Off Course – Fortune
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