WORK-LIFE BALANCE / DEC. 20, 2014
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How to Make Your Parents Understand You Don’t Want to Follow their Career Path

There’s nothing worse as a young person than having to fight your parents over your chosen career path. A lot of parents want their children to follow in their footsteps. The problem is young people these days refuse to accept this. They have grown up in an age of more freedom and they want to exercise that freedom. It leaves two opposing parties and the potential for a nasty breakdown in the relationship.

We’re going to show you how to make your parents understand that you don’t want to follow their career path.

Look at it Differently

Begin by looking at why your parents want you to follow in their footsteps. For most parents, it’s not an ego trip and it’s not because they’re desperate for you to act in a certain way. They want to see you become successful. In their minds, following what they do gives you access to their professional connections and makes it more likely that you will succeed. Believe it or not, your parents have your best interest in mind.

That doesn’t make them right. It just means they want what’s best for you.

Start Talking

Feelings have to come out sooner or later. One of the big problems with this scenario is people never talk to each other. They bottle up their feelings and refuse to listen to the other party. Don’t do this. Instead, sit your parents down and tell them what you want to do. Don’t fight them about why you don’t like their career choice. Explain why you want to follow the path you’ve chosen for yourself.

You should explain the benefits and make it clear you’ve assessed the risks. Show you’re making an informed decision and that you have taken the time to weigh up the pros and cons. You don’t want your parents to assume this is some sort of phase.

Begin at Home

Most career paths begin at home by taking an interest and personal experimentation. You can do this without committing to anything yet. Rather than speaking of the direction of your career as an idea, talk about it as something that’s happening now. If your parents see that you’ve taken an active interest in your subject, they’re more likely to believe that you’re truly interested in it. They will see that you’ve already taken the first steps.

Do it Anyway

Sometimes you do have to just ignore everyone else and do what you think is right. If you’re informed about where you’re going, just go. Your parents may not understand and they may not support you, but one of the biggest regrets you’ll ever have is not giving it a try.

By all means, compromise with your parents. Say that you’ll give your chosen career choice a try for a few years and assess your situation later on. Some people have said they’ll try to succeed for five years and if they haven’t they’ll try something else. It’s an easy way to placate a pair of worried parents.

Emotional Steps Back

This may take months to work out with your parents. If you ever find a talk becoming emotional, step away from it. When either party becomes emotional, it only makes it more likely that talks are going to break down. Just keep bringing it up again and again until you can get through to them. This will be a difficult subject and you will find it hard, but in the end it’s worth it.

Very rarely will you see parents who absolutely will not accept a certain career choice no matter what.

 

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