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Your teenager has to register for CEGEP this year … what are ways to help? You probably think that he or she is too young to choose their orientation. If we would all do the exercise of retracing our journey, what would our conclusions be? Was it a straight line? For many, there have been detours and cross roads. One method I have used and that, to me, has given good results is to leave books and magazines of all kinds lying around in the living room, on the sideboard in the kitchen and in the bathroom. I also put career guides mixed in with some other books on the coffee table.

And one day, at supper, we played a game with the magic word “if”. I was inspired by the method of the great director Stanislavsky, who used it to help the actors find the motivations, the life of a character. At supper, I asked the father of my children to share with us what kind of training he would be interested in if he would be 17 years old right now, before making a career choice. This little “what if” game made room for some beautiful confessions and we share experiences of our journeys that my children were not aware of.

It also started a great discussion with my parents, initiated by my son. My mother passionately told us about her time at the university in her forties, to realize her dream to work with people in palliative care. My father shared his experience as a business man, telling us with bright eyes the most remarkable episodes of his career. And then we asked them, what if you had to start over? With confidence, both my parents confirmed that all of these experiences had taught them something, and that they helped form them. They didn’t regret anything. The most precious things these conversations gave to my children are confidence, confidence in themselves, confidence in the future and the certainty that the experiences are not in vain, but are here to train us, and to teach us. Your child has to register for CEGEP or for a vocational training, trust him or her and leave books lying around your house…

  • Le Guide Choisir secondaire et collegial (Guide “Choose high school and college”)
    (Editor Septembre)
  • Choix professionnel et développement de carrière, 2e édition (“Career choice and career development, 2nd Edition”)
    Charles Bujold and Marcelle Gingras (Editor Gaëtan Morin)
  • S’orienter malgré l’indécision (“Navigate despite indecision”)
    Isabelle Falardeau, Roland Roy (Editor Septembre)


– By Katlyne Lefebvre, contributor family life



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