Three actions you can take before the end of the year to help your teenager's career planning

16 December 2016 | Advice for Parents | Thomas Peacock

This is a crazy-busy time of year but it’s also period where families get to spend more time than usual together.

Your teen will have at least two weeks off school or college and there will be plenty of moments in which you can raise subject of the future.

It’s also the turn of the year. 2017 presents a new start, a blank canvass to be filled with plans and ambitions.

So, here are three actions you can take now to help with your teen’s career planning in 2017:

Action 1: Identify the end goal

Maybe they know they want to go to uni, maybe they've decided they want to go straight into work - maybe they are undecided, but where does your teenager hope to be in five and then ten years from now?

Take the time to work with your teenager on building the picture of what they want work and life to look like for them in the future.

Think about their passions and interests, strengths and weaknesses, skills and qualities. What are they good at and what do they enjoy? What motivates them? What are the careers, jobs and tasks associated with the mix of attributes your teenager has reached so far?

You and your teen don’t have to come up with a finished picture, but clearly identifying the long-term goal is the first step in pursuing a career in a constructive way.

Action 2: Plan how to get there

Qualifications

Will academic grades or other qualifications have a bearing on whether your child can pursue their dreams? The answer is: probably, if only because most apprenticeships, training schemes and educational courses have minimum entry requirements.

Work with your teenager now to identify what needs to be achieved and agree a plan to help them attain this. Do they need support in a particular subject? Do they need to commit more time to studying? You and your teen can come up with a plan now to be pursued in the new year.

Building other skills and qualities

It’s not just academic qualifications that employers and universities use review to assess the suitability of new recruits. They’re also looking for evidence of qualities such as team spirit, leadership, a good work ethic, reliability and commitment.

You and your teenager can take the time to reflect now if their life outside of academia is adding to their arsenal for pursuing their dreams. Have they got any work experience under their belt? Do they have a part-time job, volunteer anywhere or play sport for a club?

If the answer is no, then get your teen to commit to pursuing a work or volunteering opportunity in 2017.

Action 3: Book a careers fair

One of the most valuable things your teen can do in 2017 to help shape their future is to attend a careers fair and you can book a place at one for them today.

By investing one day dedicated to focusing on their future they can:

  • Meet employers and universities face-to-face to get a true feel for the opportunities available
  • Make first impressions and network with future employers or universities
  • Receive expert advice from careers advisors and coaches via presentations, interactive workshops and one-to-one discussions
  • Benefit from all the information being under one roof, whether they want to pursue an automotive apprenticeship, legal degree apprenticeship or a degree at a university

It can be hard for some teenagers to think very long term when their life is so engrossed in the ‘now’ but by taking the three actions above you can lay the foundations for focused career planning in 2017!

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