Choosing a career path is certainly one of life’s big decisions and can be overwhelming for many teenagers. Even though schools and colleges do offer career advice, often it is limited and not individualised enough to be inspiring. However, it’s so important that teens do get the opportunity to explore and learn about as many career paths as they can. This way they know all the options that are available to them before making any big decisions. Here’s some advice for teens on how to explore different career paths and some ideas to get them really thinking about what journey they want to take.
Ask Harder Questions
Before teens start making any serious decisions, it’s a good idea to sit down with them and have an open-ended conversation about what they actually want to do. Discuss things like where they might see themselves in a few years’ time, what career they think they would like and even just their hopes and dreams for the future. It’s important to ask them the trickier questions such as what their strengths and weaknesses are as well as their interests and passions. Sometimes making a list might make this easier for them and from here they can perhaps write down a few possible careers too. Remind your teen that it’s important they make choices based on who they are and what makes them truly happy and fulfilled. These conversations can even start as early as Years 9 and 10 at school, especially as during this time your teens are thinking about college and beyond. Exploring their options early will not only help them focus but will guide them in choosing subjects that are relevant to their aspirations.
Find A Mentor
If your teen really wants to explore and learn more about a specific career path, there’s no better way for them to find out more than to connect with a prospective mentor in their field of interest. They can discuss and learn about the real day-to-day realities of the job, as well as career options for the future. It’s also a great way for them to really discover if that career path is going to be right for them before committing to anything.
Teens can find out about a whole variety of career paths by being proactive and taking time out to attend inspiring events or talks for specific fields. If they do find an area that’s particularly interesting to them, it’s important to encourage your teen to see if they can job-shadow for a day or even email across some of their questions. Internships and part-time jobs also provide invaluable work experience and are a great opportunity for young people to discover different career paths and realise if it is something they really want to pursue.
Do Some Research
There are so many different career paths out there - your teen needs to put in the effort and research all the routes they could follow in the areas they’ve already highlighted of interest. Researching online about the route they would need to take to get certain jobs, reading in-depth job descriptions of roles that might interest them, and watching YouTube videos on ‘days in the life’ of specific careers can be really insightful and useful. Not only will research broaden your teen’s horizons, it gives them ideas, prospects, information and most importantly inspiration on how they can get there.
Here’s some useful resources for teens to use when researching all the different career paths that are out there.