My name is Carol Christen. EUREKA has asked me to write a column for parents based on research and ideas from my book, What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens. As parents have a big influence on their children's career choices, I am delighted to do so. If you have a question about career choice or career planning, please feel free to write me at Questions4Carol@eurekanet.org.
Today, as parents or guardians, we are faced with one of the most difficult tasks in history - raising and supporting our children in a time of great uncertainty. The foremost concern that many families face is apprehension about the future. Our challenge is to create and ensure a future full of material and spiritual well being.
The tragic and unspeakable catastrophes that have shaken our nation and our world have significantly enhanced our anxieties about the future ahead of us. For many of us, now is the time for us to talk about those anxieties, and to begin working with our children to address some of the deep, personal challenges that they will face during their lifetimes. These questions involve the issues of well-being and happiness, as well as the sometimes confusing concepts of material vs spiritual needs. It is important to realize that many of these questions really deal with the same concept - how best to live one's life. As such, these concepts should be addressed holistically.
Seeing the world holistically means seeing the world with both eyes instead of just one. It means finding a balance between the material and spiritual concerns that face us in life. It means achieving an understanding of how each of the different areas of our lives - our careers, our families, our social concerns - are interrelated. Once we begin to do this, we can start to realize that there is more to our lives than just material satisfaction. Life also has that intangible part... that some call our spirit, others call our psychological makeup, and some call our heart or soul. No matter what we call it, this part of us cannot be seen, heard, or touched in the material sense.
If we recognize that we have material and psychological needs, if we begin to approach both our career life and our life in general from a holistic perspective, we may achieve the balance that keeps both the material and the spiritual intact.
How EUREKA Can Help
The EUREKA website offers you and your children an opportunity to explore career aspects of life in a way that is holistic and meaningful. First we offer you and your family a chance to explore your personality and career options through the use of a powerful and exciting self-exploration tool called True Colors. After answering a few questions you will discover a profound new way of viewing yourself and others. After experiencing True Colors, you will never see people in shades of black and white. You will begin to see them in shades of green, orange, blue and gold.
Like people, occupations have colors. True Colors will aid you in deciding what field of work might satisfy you. Have you ever thought that it might be more satisfying to find employment that truly fits your nature (the intangible you)? Have you ever thought about finding a career that is right for you, rather than entering a field because of material needs alone, or because it appears to offer the best job opportunities?
By using True Colors, or our skills assessment program MicroSkills, you will see how your personality and talents relate to occupations that your children or other family members may find gratifying.
Once you have discovered occupations of interest, you will have access to EUREKA's vast research on what job skills are required, what level of education is needed, where you can go locally and nationally to receive training, where you can apply for financial aid if needed, and much, much more.
|Carol Christen is a veteran career strategist and author of What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens. Carol has spent several years researching the new generation of workers as they enter the economic marketplace of the early 21st century. Learn more about her work at www.carolchristen.com.