Helping your teenager look at career options
Navigating career options can be a challenging process for young people, particularly today when there are so many different pathways leading to a variety of career outcomes.
We encourage you to start having conversations with your teenager about what they might want to do when they finish school as early as when they are in years 9 and 10. Even if your son/daughter is planning to go on to Year 12, exploring their options early will help them to focus and prepare for the future. This will also guide them in choosing senior subjects that are relevant to their aspirations.
This can be a daunting process, so we've compiled our top tips for helping your child assess their career options and selecting the career path for them.
- Encourage your child to take the Skillsroad Career Quiz to assess what their strongest skillset is and the types of occupations that may suit them.
- Talk to your teen about what they actually want to do – their ideas about their future may differ from yours, but it is important to remember that a happy worker will always be more satisfied than one who is stuck in a career they do not like. Talk to them about what they are passionate about as they are far more likely to stick with something if it aligns with their passions.
- Encourage them to use the internet to research the career paths of people in the public eye or people that they admire. You might be surprised at the route that took them to their final career!
- Talk to them about your career journey and how you got there. We also suggest talking with other family members, friends, neighbours and your colleagues and associates.
- Suggest that your teen talks with their careers advisor and teachers at school, about what other students have done and how they got there. They can also advise them on other resources and opportunities for finding out about careers.
- If your teen is specifically interested in a field, help them find potential events/talks that they could attend to find out more.
- Visit career fairs and skills shows with your teenager.
- If you can, take your teen to work with you one day, or see if another family member or friend would be prepared to do this so that they can get some insight into working life.
- Talk to your teen's school about work experience opportunities. The opportunity to have a go and experience a typical day in the workplace will give them a great taste of what it is like to work in a particular field.
- Lastly, encourage and coach your young one to ‘have a go’. Remind them that people have to start somewhere when launching their careers, even if it means making a few changes along the track.
Opening your teenager's eyes to the possibilities that are out there is important in helping them choose the right path for them. The earlier they start doing this the better!