By Joan Runnheim Olson
If you're a counselor at the middle school or secondary level, the following case study is for you. How can you increase parents’ awareness of non-traditional careers? What activities would you use to help parents learn more about non-traditional careers, i.e., male or female-dominated? Parents may play a major role in their child's career choice. That's why it's important that parents encourage their children to consider all of their career options, including non-traditional. So, how can you increase parent's awareness of these careers? Below are some tips:
1) Hand out information on non-traditional careers at enrollment or during an open house. This information can include what non-traditional careers are: list some examples, a description of the work performed, along with the benefits of a non-traditional career.
2) Invite role models, i.e., those working in non-traditional careers, to come and speak during an open house. They can describe a typical day on the job, the challenges they face, salary range, and what they like about being in a non-traditional career.
3) Pass out scholarship information for non-traditional careers.
4) Encourage parents to talk with their daughters about science and math and to enroll in a camp on these subjects.
5) Encourage parents to have their son participate in activities around the house that are considered non-traditional, e.g., childcare. The same rings true for their daughter. Have parents teach their daughter how to change the oil in the family car or change a tire.
A non-traditional career isn't for everyone, but it's important for parents to allow their child to explore both traditional and non-traditional careers.