By Juliet Frate, NUMATS Coordinator, Center for Talent Development
As the parent of a gifted child, you want your child to develop his or her talents and reach full potential. So you pay close attention to academic development because you know your child has the ability to earn top grades and scores . . . and potentially to earn a scholarship for a highly selective college or university. You also pay close attention to personal and social development because you know that how your child thinks, feels, and acts can impact academic success . . . and you don’t want anything holding her back.
But do you ever think specifically about career development? “Of course!” you say, “That’s why I help my child identify career goals and make sure he takes the courses he will need to make that happen.” Well, that is career decision-making, often considered one of the latter stages of career development. Career development, like academic, personal and social development, begins early and takes place over time.
The various career development theories address the ages and stages in which specific tasks or milestones take place. Generally these involve career awareness, exploration, decision-making, and establishment, with accomplishment of the previous stage being a prerequisite for success moving forward. And in that the competencies of career awareness and exploration are closely connected to the development of self-awareness, self-concept, and self-knowledge, these competencies clearly play a role prior to the secondary and postsecondary years of education; i.e., prior to career decision-making.
If you want your gifted child to develop his or her talents and reach full potential, consider a stronger focus on career development beginning now! Here are some online resources you can consult to get started:
- “ED Career Planning for Gifted and Talented Youth,” National Association for Gifted Children
- “Multipotentiality: Issues and Considerations for Career Planning,” Duke TIP
- “ASCA National Standards for Students,” American School Counselor Association (includes standards/competencies for career development)
And stay tuned for our next blog post, on Careers of the Future!
Juliet Frate is coordinator for Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search. She has worked as an educator and researcher for over 30 years.