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Helping Your Teen in Career Exploration: Identify What They Love Doing

#lovedoing
 

As a parent, you want nothing more than to see your teenager thrive and find fulfillment in their future career. One powerful tool that can aid them on this journey is the concept of "flow," first introduced by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Identifying what they love to do with their time is the first in our five step process for helping teenagers identify a filfilling career. 

What is a "Flow" state?

Flow is a state of complete engagement and immersion in an activity. It was first described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who coined the term to represent the optimal experience of being fully absorbed in a challenging task. During moments of flow, your teenager becomes so engrossed in what they're doing that time seems to fade away. They experience a deep sense of joy, fulfillment, and accomplishment. It's as if they're in their own little world of happiness and creativity, where their skills and interests align perfectly.

Supporting your teen to reflect

Find some time when your teenager is not stressed to open up a conversation about what they love to spend their time doing. Here are some reflection questions you can ask them to start the conversation:

  1. What activities or hobbies make you feel completely absorbed and engaged?
  2. When do you experience a sense of flow, where time seems to fly by?
  3. What are some challenges or problems you enjoy solving?
  4. Which activities allow you to express your creativity or imagination?
  5. What activities do you find yourself naturally drawn to, even when you're not required to do them?
  6. Are there any specific skills or talents you possess that you enjoy using?
  7. How do you feel when you achieve a sense of accomplishment or mastery in a particular activity?
  8. Can you think of a time when you were so focused on a task that you lost track of everything else around you?
  9. What are some activities that you find energizing and fulfilling, even if they require effort?
  10. If you could spend an entire day doing something you love without any constraints, what would it be?

Encourage your teenager to reflect on these questions and explore a wide range of activities. Help them create opportunities to engage in different experiences that align with their interests. This could involve joining clubs or groups, volunteering, attending workshops, or pursuing new hobbies. Encourage them to pay attention to their feelings and reactions during these activities, noting moments when they feel most alive and engaged.

Sharing your reflections with your teen

As a parent, you hold a unique and invaluable role in your teenager's life. Beyond providing guidance and support, you have the power to reflect back to your teen the positive aspects of themselves that they might not fully recognize.

As a parent, reflecting on and asking yourself the following questions can help you identify what brings flow in your teenager:

  1. What activities does my teenager engage in for extended periods without getting bored or restless?
  2. When does my teenager seem most energized, focused, and fully absorbed in what they're doing?
  3. Are there specific skills or talents that my teenager demonstrates proficiency or enthusiasm in?
  4. What activities does my teenager engage in where they seem to lose track of time?
  5. Do they express a sense of joy, satisfaction, or accomplishment after participating in certain activities?
  6. Are there particular subjects or areas of interest that consistently capture their attention and motivate them to delve deeper?
  7. How does my teenager respond to challenges? Are they driven to overcome obstacles and persist in their pursuits?
  8. Have there been instances where my teenager has shown exceptional creativity, problem-solving ability, or original thinking?
  9. Do they express a strong sense of personal fulfillment or purpose when engaging in specific activities?
  10. Are there any patterns or consistencies in the activities that bring them a sense of flow?

By reflecting on these questions and observing your teenager's behaviors and reactions, you can gain valuable insights into what activities and pursuits may bring them a state of flow. This understanding can help guide you in providing them with opportunities and support to further explore and develop their passions, skills, and areas of interest. Remember to engage in open and non-judgmental conversations with your teenager to better understand their experiences, preferences, and aspirations.

As a parent, your role is to support your teenager's journey of self-discovery. Show genuine interest and enthusiasm in their exploration process. Encourage them to try new things and be open to unexpected discoveries. Remind them that it's okay to explore multiple interests and that discovering their flow activities takes time and patience.

Empower your teenager to reflect on their experiences and guide them in recognizing the common threads that connect their flow activities. Help them see how their unique combination of interests and talents can translate into different career possibilities. Encourage conversations about potential career paths, and provide resources and guidance to help them explore further. By nurturing their passions and guiding them along their path, you can help your teenager find a career that brings them lasting happiness and fulfillment.

This is Just Step One

Helping your teen to recognise what they love to do is just one step in a five part journey to identifying a career path that matters. At Careers That Matter we We help teens who don't know what want to do after high school, to identify their ideal career and to start making that dream a reality. 

This is not standard career counselling; we dive deep into who you truly are, we aim for a career that matters both to you and your community, and we think deeply about what careers of the future are. We don't tell them what to do with your life; we help them discover it.

The program is available globally for teenagers across all timezones. Parents are welcome to attend as much or as little of the program as they like.  

More Resources

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Careers That Matter provides online programs to teenagers across the globe. The organisation is based in Melbourne Australia. We have students from across Australia including Sydney, NSW 2000, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Perth, WA 6000, Adelaide, SA 5000, Hobart, TAS 7000, Canberra, ACT 2600, Darwin, NT 0800. We also take students from The United Kingdom including London, Europe, and the United States including New York , Canada, New Zealand including Auckkland and Wellington, and Asia including Singapore and Malaysia.