As a parent, you play a vital role in helping your child sift through their career options — discussing their interests and how these may translate to an occupation, addressing their questions and concerns, helping them transition to further study… and the list goes on.
There are three main career development approaches among young people:
Assisting with career planning isn’t always an easy process; as seen above, some students will have a very specific career goal in mind, while others may not know what types of jobs are available or what it takes to gain a qualification. With career discussion, it’s better to start early — usually around Year 9 or so, before it comes time to think about subject choices or tertiary study. In some schools, your child may even encounter careers education in primary school, so it’s best to be prepared for when the questions begin rolling in.
Keep the following tips in mind for when it’s time to talk about careers with your child.
As your child approaches their senior years of schooling, they will be given more freedom in choosing their subjects. The ‘best’ subject choices for senior years will vary between students. For some, it may be better to stick to a broad range that will allow entry into various fields when it comes time to apply for tertiary study. For others, who have a good idea of what they’d like to study, it makes more sense to frame subject choices around the prerequisites of a certain field. Design courses, for example, will usually require completion of subjects such as art and visual communication.
If your child has a particular occupation in mind, encourage them to explore it through a work placement. Most schools will offer formal work experience programs (usually one or two weeks long) at some point in the senior years of schooling. Students are typically responsible for organising their own placements, but schools may provide a list of employers who have previously taken on a student from the school. Remember, though, that some placements can be very competitive, so you should also encourage your child to think outside the box — if they are interested in becoming a vet but can’t secure a placement in a practice, why not try an animal shelter?
There are a number of benefits to completing work experience, such as gaining a reference to add to their résumé, or in some cases, even being offered a part-time job at the conclusion of the program.