Navigating career options can be a challenging process for young people, particularly with so many different pathways leading to a variety of career outcomes.
One of the best things you can do for your teenager is to start the conversation about what they might want to do one day when they are in years 9 and 10. Or even earlier: perhaps the childhood dream of becoming a firefighter has never gone away!
Even if your child is planning to go on to Year 12, exploring their career options earlier 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 process can be unnerving for both you and your child. We've compiled our top tips to help with starting the conversation, guiding your child's thoughts about their career options and helping them select the best career path for them.
Kick things off by encouraging your child to take the Skillsroad Career Quiz to assess their personality style and the types of occupations that may suit them.
- Talk to your teen about what they want to do. Really make the effort to listen to what they say. Their ideas about their future may differ from yours, but it is important to remember that doing a job they love will make your child's adult life so much happier than that of a person who is stuck in a career they do not like.
- Encourage them to research the career paths of people in the public eye or people that they admire. You could both be surprised at the route that took them to their final career!
- Tell your kids about your own career journey and how you got to where you are. They could also talk to other family members, friends, neighbours and even your colleagues and associates to find out about the different paths people take.
- Suggest that your teen talks with their career advisor and teachers at school to find out what other students have done. Teachers and career advisors can also advise your teen on resources and opportunities for finding out about careers.
- If your teen is interested in a specific field, help them find potential events/talks that they could attend to find out more.
- Visit career fairs 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 so. This provides valuable insight into the daily grind!
- 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 taste of what it's 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.
Supporting your child on their career journey
Opening your teenager's eyes to the possibilities that are out there helps them to choose the right path for them. The earlier they start doing this, the better!