• Career Anxiety In College And High School Students | Dennis Trittin | Episode 92

  • Reducing Career Anxiety In College And High School StudentsCareer anxiety in college and high school students is enormous. The pressure begins in junior high and continues through high school and into college. Our kids are suffering from the strain but what’s causing it? Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler has an in-depth discussion with expert Dennis Trittin. They discuss the origins of the problem, contributing factors, and what is missing. Dennis will share tips for parents on how to coach their kids and help their child select the right track for them.



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    “You need to know how to select your career. You don’t need to select your career right now.”

    High Points of Our Conversation About Career Anxiety in College and High School Students:

    choosing a careerHigh school has a couple hot-button issues:

      • Teens who are undecided but feel like they should know. This is especially problematic if they have friends who are confident in their plans.
      • The college-for-all message imposed on students who aren’t sure if college is right for them. It makes them feel they are a disappointment or like they can’t take time to decide if college is the right path.

    We need to help high schoolers build career curiosity. This needs to be done in a way where it is clear to the students they are not expected to know what career they want but simply to know about the jobs that are available. We don’t want ‘I need to know now about careers’ to turn into ‘I need to know what career I want now’.

    College graduates were surveyed and 40% regretted their choice of major.

    The average college student will change their major 2-3 times. This can be a good thing when it’s because they found something better they didn’t know existed. However, it can be costly when it happens frequently or they move in and out of specialized fields.

    Students think they’ll get more help choosing a career path than they actually receive. Counselors don’t have experience with the actual jobs available for various majors Because of that, they aren’t able to share knowledge about the vast variety of options available to students.

    There’s a simple way to help our kids find the right path for them:

      1. Help our high school students become self aware. Encourage them to learn about themselves; their interests, skills, preferences, limitations, etc. Each of us is a unique combination of interests and skills. Knowing about themselves will help our kids evaluate potential careers.
      2. Take surveys and assessments. These tools can help you identify career paths that match your interests and skills.

    The connection between major and job is critical. Be sure your child researches it. They cannot rely on schools to bring them the information. They have to take the initiative. Follow the line of Major => Jobs => Networking.

    Follow these steps to find a suitable major:

      • Use your self awareness and career surveys to identify possible majors.
      • Research the jobs available to people with this major.
      • Talk to the department head of that major in your college or the director of your program at a trade school and ask: “What is the success rate of students landing a full-time position in this field?” 
      • Then network. Talk to people who hold those jobs. Find out what the jobs are really like. Ask them what they like and don’t like about their position, what they did to prepare for this job and what they wish they’d done differently.

    Tell your kids to follow their dreams and also explore all the things they would be good at.

    Help your teen learn about themselves in a broader way and explore career options. Start early but be sure to do this before visiting colleges in their junior year of high school.

    Parents can reduce the pressure on kids by not letting ourselves get ahead of where we need to be. Kids don’t have to know their career path in high school, or even the first year or two of college. This is the time to be introspective, become aware of options, and build career curiosity.

    Resources Mentioned in Show:

    (When items are purchased through our Amazon link we may receive a small commission. We appreciate you using those links and supporting the show.)

    Wings Not Strings by Dennis Trittin and Arlyn Lawrence

    Personal Balance Sheet http://dennistrittin.com/resources/PersonalBalanceSheet.pdf 

    Career Survey careerbridge.wa.gov

    Episode 89 with Lisa Shumate

    Our Guest – Dennis Trittin:

    Dennis Trittin Dennis Trittin is the founder, President, and CEO of LifeSmart Publishing and author of Parenting for the Launch and What I Wish I Knew at 18. His mission is to inspire and equip the next generation with the leadership and life skills they need to succeed in adulthood. Through books, curriculum, speaking engagements, and his blog, Dennis serves young people around the world and the parents, educators, and mentors guiding them. 

    Previously, Dennis served as Director of Research and Strategy at Russell Investments where he spent 28 years managing $35 billion and evaluating successful leaders around the globe. From this unique perspective, Dennis is now sharing these powerful leadership insights with teens and young adults.

    Dennis and Jeanne, his wife of 35 years, have two grown children who are living their dream in Gig Harbor, Washington. They enjoy the company of family and friends and are avid golfers and active volunteers in their community. 

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit http://dennistrittin.com 

    Our Sponsor – Ecree:

    Ecree is the only AI virtual writing tool that provides unlimited, immediate, and consistent teacher-quality feedback on essay organization, argumentation, evidence, and analysis.  To learn more or connect with our sponsor visit ecree.com

    Photo credit: Scott Webb 


    Dennis, I am so pleased to read your information. As an educator, you are spot on. I surely enjoyed working with you at Russell. We have relocated to Florida and loving it. I am excited to learn more from your insights. Dee


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