Remember when we were little and our parents would ask us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We’d reply with something like fireman, astronaut or princess and our parents would laugh, or tell us that we could be anything we wanted.

Many of us had a conversation like this with our parents. However, when we were younger, we didn’t put a lot of real thought into our career choices. Growing up seemed like a long way away – but all of a sudden, it’s not.

Now that we’re nearing the end of high school, when someone asks us what we want to do, we are expected to give a serious answer. Somehow, being a princess just doesn’t seem like a viable career option any more.

Having a serious “what are you going to do with your life?” discussion with your parents is not always easy. This is where Careers NZ can help. With their advice and help, you can discuss potential careers with your parents, using tools such as the Career Quest quiz to gain insight into what might be the best path for your future.

If you find you’re struggling to talk to your parents, have a look at this page, which will give you heaps of tips for dealing with any tricky issues. This is the perfect place to start when it comes to figuring out exactly how to chat to your parents about university courses, or give them the news that you’re considering a gap year after high school to travel. There’s a great video on that page, where young people share their experiences about what it was like to talk to their parents – and offer advice about how best to approach and discuss the subject of careers. Check it out here.

One example from the video is Shevaun, whose father struggled with the idea of her wanting to become a teacher. As Shevaun says, her father “was concerned I wouldn’t make enough income for the type of life that I live.” Her advice to students in her position is to “think about whose future it is.”

Remember that you have to be happy with your choices. You are the one who could be studying late at night or working 40 hours a week, so you need to make sure you are doing those things for something that you truly want to do.

Maybe your parents are slow to celebrate your desired career. Another piece of advice in the video comes from Francis, who is studying music. He says: “I reckon you should make a slideshow and just give them 20 good reasons why you want to do what you want to do.” If you are able to convey your passion and your reasons for career choice to your parents, odds are they will support your choices.

If you’re talking to your parents about picking up that trade or delaying your Commerce degree for a year to travel to Thailand and live in a yurt, do your research and come to them with a plan. Similar advice was given by Shannon, who is studying engineering. He said: “Gather information about what you want to study [or do after high school].”

Most of the time, your parents just want to know that you have some direction when it comes to the rest of your life. They see mountains of potential in you and want you to do exceptionally in your chosen path – and that’s where their hesitation comes from. You can always direct them to this page on Careers NZ, to help them figure out how to help you! Your parents want the best for you, even though you might feel you need to fight for or justify your post-high school choices.

Never forget the fact that your parents love you and want the best for you, always. Keep this in mind when you and your parents talk careers.

Wherever you are at in the process of talking to your parents, Careers NZ can help. Don’t take my word for it – check out all the resources for yourself!