You are concerned about your future, and that concern is a first needed step. But it’s not enough. Now you need to do something about it. And not just anything, but the thing that will assure you a great professional future: to have a Personalised Career Guidance process!
Unless you are one of those very young entrepreneurs that have their own income at very early age, you still need to ask your parents for this investment. That’s why we came up with this guide to help you convince them, so that you can benefit from this great process.
Step 1: Understand your parents’ own goals and concerns
The first and most important key to getting to “yes” is to focus on your parents’ needs and concerns. They of course want the best for you… you have to understand that they have more experience in the ‘real’ world than you do, and so sometimes they think they will know what is best for you. Your parents just want you to be happy but also want to know that you will be able to stand on your own two feet when the time comes.
So before you have the conversation with your parents, you must answer the question: “How is my proposal going to help my parents achieve their goals and reduce their concerns?”
Put yourself into your parents’ shoes (maybe not literally! We don’t want anyone injured), and prepare a list of their needs, concerns and goals, in general and those particularly related to your future. Then think of how you can accomplish some of those goals by doing a Personalised Career Guidance process and therefore help them to satisfy some of their needs and reduce some of those concerns.
Step 2: Commit to Success and Write Your Proposal
The key here is to choose your battles and prepare thoroughly. The number one reason people don’t get an immediate “yes” is because they haven’t done their homework. They simply haven’t thought the proposal through. As a result, it is full of holes. Make sure to have covered the key points—briefly and in order.
Here’s a suggestion on how to prepare your written proposal:
Start with the conclusion. It is much easier for you and your parents to know what you want up front. Be brief—two sentences at the most. Keep it simple.
Usually, your parents will need a little context. Tell them about us. But again, be brief. Only provide the background necessary for them to make an intelligent decision.
List all the reasons why your parents should accept your recommendation and approve your proposal. Try making between five and seven reasons. (If you come up with more, select the most important ones and delete the others. You want to convince them, not to bore them!) Once you have your list, prioritise it. Start with your most important reason and then work down your list, including the next most important reason, then the next most important reason, etc. We have devised a table to give you a few ideas about how you can show your parents what you are planning to get from this experience and why is it important for you:
How important it is to you
|Outcomes you would have from the process:||Not very important||Reasonably Important||Very Important||
Why / notes
|Growth of self-confidence|
|Discovery of strengths|
|Discovery of weaknesses|
|Discovery of talents|
|Discovery of passions|
|Learning about all the professions relevant to your profile and objectives|
|Learning about all the most suitable studies to put you in that career|
|Learning how to clearly make a decision|
State this in terms of “return on investment”: include its price but also translate into economic terms the gains you and your parents will have from this process. Be creative and don’t forget to include all the savings you will make thanks to having chosen the most suitable career right from the beginning:
– Waste of months or years of university/college fees, rent, food, photocopies, books, etc. during an extended studying period.
– Lack of salary due to postponing your graduation and entrance to the job market
– Loss of higher paid jobs because you can’t dedicate yourself to a profession where you can give your all – but only work to put food on the table.
At the end of the day, your parents want you to be happy, now and in the future. So don’t forget to explicitly mention your gains in emotional terms, both for you and your parents if they support you having the Personalised Career Guidance process.
Step 3: Anticipate Objections
This is where the battle is won or lost. First, think of every question your parents could possibly ask. You could use the FAQs for help. Give them time to come around to the idea. Go to them with a cool head and a prepared proposal and try not to get frustrated if they don’t say ‘YES’ immediately. Even anticipate their counter arguments and incorporate them into your written speech, so you are prepared and can provide a clear response to them in advance. This way you also show that you understand their concerns, needs and goals.
Resources: Career Guidance FAQs.
Step 4: Make the Pitch
Schedule a time to make the pitch. Pick a time when your parents are likely to be the most receptive (i.e. not in the middle of a football match). And then, make use of all the material you have prepared. They will be impressed when they see all the homework you have done.
Step 5: Follow-up
Remember, like we’ve said before, your parents probably aren’t going to jump out of their chairs and run to the computer to pay immediately. They will want time to process all of the information. Why don’t you suggest another time when you can all sit down together to discuss their response?
If you and your parents are still hesitant about signing you up for the Personalised Process, why not suggest attending a first session with us. We know that career and study choices are made, more or less, within a family context. We propose that at the beginning of a career guidance process that a parent accompanies you.
Don’t pester your parents, but insure you get a response from them. Ask them nicely, ‘Hey. How was your day? Have you had chance to think about the Personalised Career Guidance yet?’
We offer you our help, for free: Have you completed the first steps but still need to gain confidence so as to increase your chances? You could e-mail us what you have prepared and we will read it for you and send you some suggestions on how to improve it! (Please, do your homework first; don’t ask us to do it for you!)