Towards the end of their time in high school, your teen will start to consider their future career path.
They will ask themselves: What do I want to be?
And they will also ask: What do I need to do to get there?
As a parent, you can be there to help. You can help them determine (without being pushy) what the right career path might be, and you can help them take the steps necessary to get onto it.
So, where can you start? Well, here are some suggestions we hope you find useful.
#1: Consider your teen’s hobbies
Not every hobby can lead into a career, but many can. If your teen has a particular passion, it might be this that can form the basis of the career journey they step into. Teens with a love of cooking and baking might consider a catering career, for example, and those with a love of video games could consider game testing or even game design. Check out this useful career tool for more ideas. It can match your teen’s interests to possible jobs, so can act as a starting point when your teen is trying to figure out their future.
#2: Remind your teen of their values
Your teen will have their own set of core values and it’s important to consider these in relation to their future career. Discuss these with your teen and help them find a career that matches their principles. So, if they value the care and wellbeing of others, for example, you might point them towards any career within the caring and health professions. If they value their personal faith, you could point them towards a church, mission, or charitable career. If it’s money that drives them, you could talk about those career paths where financial security is a given. These are just a few examples, but explore ideas based on your teen’s core values.
#3: Help your teen find the right college course
Not every teen will want to go to college or university after high school, but there are advantages to those who do. There is the potential for a higher-paid career path, as well as a more secure future after qualifications have been attained. So, talk to your teen about the possibility, even if they decide on a part-time education instead of something longer term.
#4: Point your teen towards places and people that can help
Teens are not always proactive when it comes to finding help so you might have to lead them in the right direction. You might point them to career guidance centres, for example, and you might point them towards recruiters having an open day. Paul Ognibene with Urban Spaces implemented the BUILDING A BUILDING program to inspire those high schoolers with an interest in real estate development. If you hear of other business owners in your locale doing the same, encourage your teen to attend. With the support and guidance of career and business professionals, your teen will get a clearer understanding of where their future might lie.
It can take a long time before your teen finds the right career path. And even when they do find one, they might later change their mind. However, you can still be there to guide them in the right direction, especially when they are considering their future after high school. Follow our suggestions then, and do whatever else you can to support your teen.