Help! My Parents Aren’t Taking My Career Plans Seriously

Here's how to handle it.

We all have disagreements with our parents, from how we dress to what we are and aren’t allowed to do. It can be super frustrating when you don’t see eye to eye with your parents, and you feel they’re backwards or just don’t get it.

One area that often brings up conflict is your career or job plans for the future.

Oftentimes, parents want us to go into particular jobs that are secure, stable, well-paying and long-established.

Sometimes, however, we know in our hearts what we want to do, so it can cause all sorts of fights when your mam wants you to be an accountant but you want to be a model.

Here are four things to remember when dealing with conflict.

                                                 1. Remember they just want what’s best for you

It might be hard to hear and tricky to understand, but most of the time, when a parent doesn’t approve of something or feels it’s not right, it’s probably because they want the best for you. They want you to be happy, secure and safe, and sometimes, certain career paths might not sound like that to them. Or maybe they think it’s difficult, costly or restricting to follow a particular career path at this point in your life. With this in mind, it’s best to ask them what their main issue with your dream job is, and go from there.

2. Try not to offend them while explaining your passion

When you’re explaining why you love this particular job, whether it’s being a vlogger, or something like an actor, singer or model, be sure not to offend them, because it certainly won’t help. Don’t just scream; ‘Of course you wouldn’t get it, you’re old!’ or ‘You’ve been doing the same boring job for 50 years, I wouldn’t expect you to understand.’ All this will do is paint you in an immature light and you’ll come across as being stroppy or bratty, and they probably won’t take it seriously. Be kind, clear and well-informed when chatting to them about what you want to do.

 3. Be as educated and informed as possible about your career path

This is probably the most important point on the list. Whether you’ve already had a chat with your parents about your career as a YouTuber or makeup artist to the stars and they dismissed it, or you are nervous to tell them because you know they’re sceptical, preparation will be a huge help in your next chat with them. Get educated about what you need to do to achieve your dream job. There are so many routes to all careers these days, most of which include college or university studies or part-time courses. Many parents might worry that your dream job means you don’t want to go to college or further your education, so talking them through how a media or communications course will help you be a vlogger, or a professional MUA course will help you hone your craft can be a huge step in helping them to see your plan in motion. You can check out our series called How I Got My Job, and read about loads of different careers and the paths to them, or reach out to someone you know in the same job. You can show your parents or guardians examples of successful people in these areas, and how they achieved their dreams. You could even talk about getting a part-time job to save up for college or courses, so demonstrate how much you’ve thought about your future. If you’re educated and informed, it’s more likely that your parents will take it seriously as a future prospect.

4. Explain your intentions if X doesn’t work out

Many people have a dream job when they’re teens, sometimes, that dream job stays the exact same (speaking as editor of KISS, the job I dreamed of at 16!) and for others, it changes as they get to do work experience, courses or learn about other jobs that sound even more exciting. It can help to be realistic with your parents and say that while you are sure right now that you really want to be a TV presenter, you’re open to other areas of media, or you’ve always had a keen interest in teaching too, and are willing to look at that if you need to in a few years. Telling your parents you have a backup plan can help put their mind at ease, as it shows that you’re mature and realistic about your future.

Will all that in mind, remember that if you’re passionate enough about something and work hard, you can achieve any dream!