Career counsellors must be able to prepare students for potential family issues

A decision as major as a career choice should be made by taking into consideration emotional, familial, social and psychological factors (Career coaches in schools help students in process of self-discovery, by Mr Paul Heng, Oct 27; and Education and career counsellors assigned to all schools now, Oct 24).

Sometimes, when a young person's choice of career is not aligned with his or her parents' hopes or expectations, tension or conflict may arise.

If left unresolved, resentment, guilt or other negative feelings may fester and set the stage for bigger and deeper interpersonal conflicts that will fracture a family.

It is therefore paramount that professionals who provide decision-making support for students about their career choices are aware of such potential issues, and can sufficiently prepare the students to be emotionally and psychologically ready to manage these issues should they arise.

It might also be beneficial to equip career counsellors with the skills to facilitate a healthy and constructive dialogue between the young people and their parents, to pave the way towards making an informed, significant life decision.

Jessica Leong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2017, with the headline 'Career counsellors must be able to prepare students for potential family issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe