Career Choices for Children

— Written By Julie Lyvers
en Español / em Português

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Graduates at a graduation ceremony outdoors.

High School graduation! What a beautiful night it was for Hayesville High School Graduation on June 3, 2022. Mr. Overlin, Hayesville High School principal, had announced the plans that each senior had after high school which included enlisting in the military, staying here to work, or going to college.

As parents, there is a lot of responsibility in raising a child. When a child is in elementary school, parents are not thinking about what the child will do after high school. However, this is the time parents should start asking the child, “What would you like to do when you grow up?”

Here are a few simple hints to help guide you through this process.

  1. Be an example. Children are always watching their parents and other adults. What do you do to show how to be a good employee or boss?
  2. Figure out what your child does best. If he enjoys drawing, then get him some drawing books and have him explore various jobs (architecture, game design, or graphic design).
  3. As your child becomes a teenager, encourage your child to explore different types of careers. This can be done through research (Google info), talking to adults with different types of jobs, or even asking them questions like-wonder how you build a house? Find out what is available in your community- are there any museums or activities that your child can attend to enhance their interests?
  4. Always be flexible when teenagers are trying to decide what to do after high school. If the teen at least has it narrowed down to one of the categories (work locally, military, or college), then allow the young adult to explore the options for it. Remember, many adults change jobs/careers more than once in their lifetime.

For more information about skills teens need for a job, call or email Clay County 4-H Agent Julie Lyvers, 828-389-6305,

NC State Extension extends research-based knowledge to all North Carolinians, helping them transform science into everyday solutions that improve their lives and grow our state. N.C. Cooperative Extension, Clay County Center, is located at 25 Riverside Circle, Suite 2, Hayesville, NC 28904. Visit us online at for more information.