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With various colleges to choose from, internship openings and new jobs, students are suddenly faced with many opportunities. But along with these opportunities come daunting interviews where they must distinguish themselves from their peers and communicate what makes them unique. Their success lies in their ability to answer tough questions honestly, articulately and confidently.
These questions can be challenging for a 40 or 50-year-old with life experience to draw from, but what about a 17, 20, or 22-year-old who’s first discovering who they are?
While their answers matter for the sake of the interview, it’s not just about saying the “right” words, or making a good impression. Your child is embarking upon a journey where they’re making choices that can change the course of their life.
Which college will they choose to attend? What will be their major? Which path should they take as they begin their new career? Which hobbies, passions and dreams will they pursue or choose to let go?
A lack of clarity surrounding these choices can stop your child from moving forward. If they’re at a crossroads but don’t know which direction to take, they often end up defaulting to what’s easiest, not what’s best. They can also miss out on golden opportunities because they’re feeling unsure of themselves and not good enough to compete.
As parents, we want our children to succeed. It’s difficult to know when to give them advice and when to step back and let them figure it out. As a mother of three, two who are at this stage of life, I understand this dilemma all too well.
When it comes to interviews, it’s natural to try our best to prepare our children. Oftentimes, we make many suggestions which can include canned answers or our own thoughts and ideas. Unfortunately, despite our good intentions, this can leave our children feeling inauthentic during the interview, and ultimately set them onto a path that’s not their own. Our goal is to support our children to find their voice, navigate their choices, and be properly prepared to take their next step. While it’s expected that they will grow and evolve over time, it’s important that they begin their journey with a thoughtful start.
I first developed maps as an inquiry tool for my own life, and now use them as a core coaching tool in my work with clients. In the inquiry process, I ask questions that enable my clients to go deeper, get more information, gather more insights, and learn more about themselves. The map is a vehicle to simply organize the details we’ve extracted so that the insights are easily accessible for review. Through focused curiosity and an intuitive gift for drawing people out, I’m able to access parts of the self that may be obscured or unnoticed to uncover the nuggets that truly shine.