by Lori Richey, former youth director
Sometime before, during, or just after high school or college, your child may express a desire to pursue a career or job that makes you think “Woah, are you kidding?”
Take a deep breath in that moment, because how you respond can go a long way in setting the tone for conversations to come.
Here are some things to remember:
- Every person is a uniquely created child of God, and God is calling each of us to serve and work in different ways in the world.
- Speaking calmly, even if you feel anxious inside, helps convey that you value their thoughts and ideas.
- In times when you don’t agree or have strong feelings about something they’ve shared, you might begin a response with “That’s an interesting thought. I wonder…” It is OK to ask questions and to express your concerns, and doing so calmly and respectfully will allow that exchange to take place.
- If you know of people or resources in the particular field or job they are interested in, ask if you can help make those connections.
Here are some questions you might ask:
- What draws you to this work?
- Which of your strengths do you feel will best help you in this role?
- Can you imagine yourself doing something else?
- Many people who do this work find themselves on the lower end of the pay scale; have you thought about how you might support yourself if finances were tight?
- How can I help in your decision?
Even if the vision you had for your child does not match where they are headed, remember that God is working in them and through them, and that God is active in their life no matter what job they choose.