This question is a very relevant question to my own family and a subject
I have pondered over quite recently. We know that children are meant to be children for as long as possible but I do think it healthy for early teens to start considering their career options or at least researching career possibilities as soon as possible.
There are of course the lucky ones among us who are born with a talent,
spot that talent early on in years, enjoy the talent given to them and end up
in a career involving that talent. For most of us, this is not the case and having someone by our side helping us to explore and identify possible career options is extremely important. I would suggest having the initial
conversation with them. They might not have the vocabulary to be able to
quantify what they would like to do and probably don’t know what they want
to do as yet, but it’s certainly advantageous to get them thinking about it and
start the cogs turning.
However, before you do and to make the conversation engaging, familiarise yourself with career options, take an interest and become somewhat of an informal career guidance resource when your child asks the question.
If they are really unsure, why not suggest careers to them based on the
skill set that you know they possess, this could be I.T., game development,
teaching, medicine, trades, sport or people orientated careers. At this stage its not to pick the career but more to get the mind ready to choose.
I would much rather my son or daughter take a compulsory 10 minutes out of
their day and instead of constantly looking at You Tube, playing XBOX or PlayStation,
to take this small amount of time and start researching what they would like to
do when they leave school. Reward them for taking an interest, listen attentively to their ideas and let them explain why they are interested in this specific career and remember this will change many many many times, so be patient.