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Many parents today may feel they are working in fields that no longer peak their interest. They are overworked, underpaid, dissatisfied, and in search of a new beginning. As a result, they waste time in careers that prolong them from utilizing their true talents.

I remember how clueless I was when I left home and went to college. When it came to what to major in, I had to ask my mom what she thought I should do. She said Mass Communications. I was very interested to know why she thought that would be a great field for me, so I asked her why. She began to tell me how I was a great public speaker and that I was a people person and that she could see me as a news reporter.

I must say she was right about my major, but my career took a different direction. Today, I look back on the whole process of what it took for me to be who I am and realize I really could have saved some time if I had been better prepared. I can make all kinds of excuses for why things happened the way they did, but the one thing I know is that I was not intentional in setting myself up for success.

One of the most important things I learned is that you spend a great deal of your time at your job, so you should make sure that it’s something you can see yourself doing. As a financial parent, it is important that you help your children cultivate their talents early. As a tool to help jumpstart your children in the right direction, the S.T.A.R.T. Method gives you a roadmap to success.

1. Start the conversation early. You should begin talking to your children as early as five about different careers to help them get a better understanding of the world around them. It is important to sit with your child and help them put together a blueprint they can follow for a successful future. This plan should have their career goals and how they plan to reach them.

2. Take a personality test. Every child should take a personality test before graduating high school. It is important that children learn what type of jobs fit their personalities. No one wants to work in an environment they are uncomfortable in. When students take the test, they have a better sense of direction about additional classes they should take or different organizations that can help them.

3. Ask a local professional for guidance. If your child starts to show an interest in a certain field, you should ask someone who works in that field to help guide your child. If they are too busy, you may ask them to set aside a day where your child can come in and work alongside them. This will help them see if the career is the right fit for them. This is a good thing to do as early as eight-years-old.

4. Research the Industry. This step is very important. You should find out what personal goals your children have for themselves first. Today, it is important to be transparent with the cost of living, transportation costs, and other expenses that occur. Help your child understand the type of salary they will bring home. Students should know what it takes to do the things in that field such as college, business school, or a special certification.

5. Take Action. “Don’t expect to prevail forward if you never take the first step.” It is important to make sure you make your child accountable to follow through on the things they want to do. Sometimes life happens and can throw you off track, but it is good to teach your children how to keep moving forward. Be their cheerleader. Even after they leave your home, you should be ready to give them the guidance they need to help them live the best life possible.

Using the S.T.A.R.T Method helps you stay on track to helping your children become who they were called to be. We all have hidden talents inside that were created for a significant purpose. Sometimes lack of preparation and the mishaps of life can cause you to doubt yourself. This strategy will help you make sure your child has a chance to have a stellar take off for their future.

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