Ultimately, we all want the best for our children and supporting them in choosing a career is one of the most important things we can do to help them become self-sufficient and successful in their adult lives. Careers advice given in schools can vary greatly, so it is essential for us to get involved and make sure we can give them the help they need! You might be thinking "How can I help? What do I know about careers?", but don't worry! There is plenty you can do to get your child thinking about their future and loads of places for you to look to get accurate information about careers, training and routes into a job. Read through our top tips and get involved in improving their life chances.
- Get talking! - Ok, so this maybe easier said than done if they are spending all their time locked in their bedroom and the most you've got out of them recently is a quick hello! But it is essential to make to time to sit down with them and have a proper chat about their plans. Do they want to go onto higher education? Would they prefer a work-related training route? Which industries are they interested in? They are going to be working for a long time so if they haven't started thinking about it yet, you can help them by asking the right questions!
- Don't decide for them - Choosing a career is an important decision and although we may think we know best, we cannot make the choice for them! Asking the right questions however, can help to guide them in the right direction. For example, what do they want out of life? Do they want to earn high salaries and have lots of responsibility? Do they want to do a job that 'makes a difference'? Do they know what would give them job satisfaction? Things like job market demand and long term opportunities are also things they need to consider. Just because a job is 'hot' now, doesn't mean that it will be in the future.
- Carry out some research - Nobody's expecting you to be an expert in careers advice, but there are lots of places you can go to get any help you need! If they don't have a school careers service, follow our website links to see some sites where you can get advice about different jobs and industries and see which qualifications can get them where they want to be. There is more than one pathway to getting a job so it's just a matter of choosing the best one for them.
- Get some work experience - Jobs are in short supply at the moment, but any kind of work experience is a bonus! Whether, it's working for a family member or friend or a part time paid job, everything counts! Employers obviously prefer people who have worked before, whether it is relevant to their chosen future career or not. It can help to teach them about commitment, responsibility and discipline, all of which are valuable traits that employers want in their staff!
- Employability skills - Having a bank of skills that can be applied to different tasks and situations is a valuable asset for any employee, so young people should be encouraged to develop their skills, both in and out of school. Getting involved in different projects can help to teach them new skills and practise existing ones, whether it's in the local community, school clubs or volunteering opportunities. Try to help them see if the job they want to do suits the jobs they want.
This site is designed to be a "one stop shop" preparing for work, finding work, and managing careers and financials once they are working. Familiarise yourself with the site, why not open your own profile, perhaps it may be useful in your work life too!