Who runs the world? Girls! Or at least they will soon. This generation of girls (probably including your daughter!) is seemingly more career-minded than any generation before them. Not so sure about that? Let’s look at the facts: a 2013 study by the Girl Scouts Research Institute found that 98 percent of girls want to have a job or career when they grow up, and that eight out of ten would rather make their own money than marry someone who could support them financially.
All that said, your ambitious girl likely has big ideas and dreams about her future in the working world, so follow these tips to help make her dreams come true!
- Take her to work
If you have a career yourself—be it catering, woodworking, or managing the budget of a local company—make sure your daughter knows what it is you do at work all day by actually taking her with you once in a while! Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, which falls on the fourth Thursday of every April, is an excellent opportunity to do just that, but if that isn’t convenient for you, your company, or your girl’s school schedule, consider bringing her in one day during her summer holiday. Once you’ve gotten your boss’s approval for your daughter’s visit, you can start planning your day. Take her on a tour of your workplace, introduce her to colleagues, and make sure to explain what you’re doing and why so she understands your contributions to the team. Seeing you in your element, learning about the skills necessary to perform your job, and understanding why your job makes you feel good about yourself will inspire her and help her sharpen her own future goals. And if you’re a stay at home parent? Ask family members, neighbors, or friends if your daughter can tag along with them for a day.
- Talk about her passions
Whether your daughter says she wants to be an astronaut or a fashion designer (or both!) when she grows up, ask her what she finds so cool about those jobs and help her learn more about what it takes to succeed in those areas. Nurture and support her dreams by helping her find age-appropriate books related to the field or fields she’s most interested in. Of course she may change her mind a few times or lose interest in a certain career path after learning more, and that’s okay! The key is to broaden her horizons and help her explore the limitless options in front of her.
- Help her find a role model (or ten)
Work together to identify some women who have accomplished the goals your daughter has set for herself in life. If these people live or work in your town, see if you can set up meet and greets so your daughter can learn a bit more about their work. If these people are more not as accessible, help your girl to reach out via social media or through a letter to ask about these women’s career paths and what advice they might have to share. You might not hear back from everyone, but you’d be surprised how many women want to encourage the dreams of girls!