Career Choices when Leaving School
We all love our kids and want the best for them.
However, guiding our children to make the right choices in life can be incredibly challenging. It’s not easy to make tough calls when it comes to your child’s future, but for their sake, sometimes you need to.
It’s a very competitive world out there. Giving your child every opportunity to succeed now can mean the difference between them having a happy and enjoyable future and a fairly mundane one.
As a parent, the most important thing you can give your child is love. However, there are several other things you can do to help their development that will place them in good stead for a successful career.
Here is our guide to helping your child make the right study or career choices when leaving school.
The world is changing.
When your child is reaching school-leaving age, they will be entering a very different world to the one that you were raised in. There were just over 6 billion people in the world in the year 2000. In 2017, there are 7.5 billion. The population is growing rapidly, and the environment in which we live and work is changing along with it.
The challenges that you faced will not be the same ones that your child faces. Sure, they’ll still need to determine a career choice, find somewhere to live and a way to feed and clothe themselves. However, that’s where the similarities end.
When it comes to study and career decisions, it’s a whole different ballgame. Industries are rapidly evolving and new roles are constantly being created. Many of the career options available to young graduates today simply didn’t exist a decade ago.
The skills and attributes that employers are looking for have also changed. The ability to confront failure, persist through setbacks and think critically are valuable assets for any young school-leaver. It doesn’t matter whether they’re pursuing a job or further study, these skills will help them push on when others give up.
Let their individuality shine.
We all want the best for our children – but sometimes that can have negative effects. It’s important that you be aware of your child’s own individuality. They are a unique person with their own hopes and dreams. Be careful that you don’t seek to live vicariously through your children, pressuring them to fulfill your own hopes and dreams.
Be realistic about your child’s capabilities and what they can genuinely achieve. Speak to experts, such as careers counsellors, teachers or other professionals at their school. Get an idea of their interests and abilities and keep those in mind when you’re guiding them on their life journey.
Consider all options.
Further study isn’t the right choice for all children, but it can be a great option for many. Not all people are built for an academic lifestyle. In fact, very few are. If your child has a practical bent, consider guiding them towards career paths that they can enter without studying.
It can be daunting trying to guide your child to make the right choice when it comes to study or a career path, but the easiest way to make the correct decision is to consider all the options available.
Don’t focus on one single option. Tailor your thinking to your child’s abilities, and do your research. There are many avenues of entry to just about every career path. It doesn’t matter how they get there, as long as they do.
Help them build a network.
No doubt you’ve heard it all before, but it’s worth reiterating. Networking is absolutely fundamental to a successful career in the modern workplace. It doesn’t matter how utterly qualified your child may be, if they don’t know the right people, they won’t get ahead.
With an increasingly competitive working environment facing children today, cultural fit becomes even more important when searching for a new role. There are multiple people clamouring for each new role that hits the market. The candidate that fits the organisation culturally, and knows someone already inside it, is most likely to get the role when all other things are equal.
Treat networking like another aspect of study – it really is that important. Get your child out there, attending events and meeting people. Not only will they learn new things, they will also form new and valuable connections.
More importantly, networking from an early age opens up whole new opportunities that are simply not available to those who don’t network. Getting your child out there can help them gain work experience in career-relevant roles. They’ll meet the right people and start filling out their CV with short stints of work experience that will absolutely make the difference when applying for a role later on.
Holding responsibility as a young person is not only a great way to develop important leadership skills; it also looks great on the resume. Do your child a favour and get them out and about in their spare time.
It can be tough to hear, but sometimes the biggest thing standing in the way of a child’s success is their parents. There is a fine line between guiding your child and taking over their life. Sure, you want the best for them – but they have to achieve it themselves!
There are far too many stories of helicopter parents smothering their kids to the point that the children simply withdraw because they’ve never had the opportunity to achieve something on their own. Never, ever complete their schoolwork. Don’t sit in on a job interview with them, despite how tempting it may be.
Your child is their own person. They need to learn life lessons for themselves, and the only way for that to happen is for you to let go when it really matters.
Give them a great start.
The best way to construct a tall building is to have a strong foundation. To give your child the best chances in life, you need to equip them with skills and experience that they can build on during the early stages of their career.
With just about every entry level role requiring some level of qualification, it’s important that your child understands the value of education and how it relates to their future success. Get them training early so they can enter the job market as soon as possible and start earning experience.