Remember that time your child dreamt of becoming an astronaut after seeing a sci-fi movie, then dropped the idea after a month to become a TV actor instead? Most kids will have career fantasies, and as their parents we reassure them they can be anything that they want if they put their minds to it. Well, for some gifted learners this might actually hold true when they grow up. From Stephen Hawking to Shakuntala Devi, some great minds have achieved exceptional things because they honed their skills.
Let’s take a look at what makes a gifted learner and what sets their abilities apart from others.
Giftedness is a term that refers to children and adults with a high level of ability in some domain, such as academics, visual arts, sports, music, or cognitively. Gifted individuals may exhibit exceptional levels of talent in one or more areas such as intelligence, creativity, leadership, and musical or artistic expression. Giftedness is not the same as having a high IQ.
How to choose a career for gifted children?
While these children are “gifted” in a schooling environment, there can be challenges to meet the needs of these minds and quelch the uncertainty of if they can fit into a traditional job environment. Fortunately, new doors are opening up.
Here are some ways in which you can do career planning for gifted children and help them pick the right career for themselves.
Understanding the work environment
The first and most important step is to help your child understand their future workplace from a practical standpoint. Research shows that parents have the greatest influence on their children’s career goals and aspirations. The idea is that before they commit to something, they should have an idea about what they are committing to.
When career planning for gifted children, a good approach is to talk to them about your own job and workplace and also have your relatives and friends talk about their industries and the nature of their work. This will help your child understand the nature of different jobs and the various occupational skills that are needed. An increased sensitivity to the challenges and changes occurring in different industries will enable them to make better choices about their career in terms of the jobs that they would want to pursue and the skills that they need to master.
Career literacy emphasizes the importance of knowing yourself and your skills, abilities, and weaknesses. This means when your child knows about the various career options that are open to them, they can actually evaluate whether they have the relevant skills for them and identify the areas that they would need to work on. However, understanding yourself is not a simple process, especially for gifted children.
Growing up we typically learn about ourselves through our achievements. Another effective way to learn is through aptitude tests and assessments. Aptitude tests measure our potential to acquire skills used to perform tasks. Specifically, aptitude tests can measure our creativity, spatial abilities, and general skills that play a significant role in career planning.
Aptitude tests may identify the natural abilities of an individual based on various parameters. They remain relatively stable throughout one’s lifetime, so students can apply the information garnered from completing one not just in choosing their right career, but also throughout their careers.
Knowing what fits
The students who understand the practical work environment they wish to enter and are aware of their skills and aptitudes can make the best choices and plan for personal satisfaction. They can also select part-time jobs, internships, and job shadowing opportunities that will trigger curiosity and motivation.
Another crucial part of the puzzle that is often ignored in the career exploration process is work values. Having job satisfaction does not just depend on it suiting your personality and the fact that you are good at doing the work, but that it is similar to your values. Taking up part-time roles and internships can also help identify if a particular field is in sync with a child’s value systems.
Now is the time to make a choice
Picking the wrong career can lead to lifelong dissatisfaction, anxiety, and waste the potential of a gifted child. However, now that you know more about how to nurture a child’s gifts, you’re well on your way to helping them reach their full potential. If you are wondering how to choose a career for gifted children and need more help to hone your child’s skills and guide them to choose the right path, reach out to LaunchMyCareer. Our expert career advisors will counsel your child towards the right career path that is in alignment with their interests, skills, and personality.