Teen Career Planning: Where to Start



Teen career planning – overview

Career planning is an exciting task many teenagers look forward to. Parents are in a unique position to support and encourage their children as they plan for the future.

Some key facts about careers today

  • many jobs exist today that did not before, especially in the field of technology (search engine optimization, social media marketing etc)
  • on average, youths embarking on a career will be working in up to 5 different industry sectors over the course of their working lifetimes
  • youths will face many different challenges in their careers
  • youths will have many planned and unplanned gaps of unemployment
  • post secondary training is required more than ever
  • career planning is a lifelong process.

Career planning steps

Use the following steps to guide your teen in his or her career plan. These steps may be used throughout the working life of the teen.

  • Step 1: Getting teens to know themselves

    • discuss with your teen likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses
    • share with the teen your own strengths and weaknesses and the impact of these factors on your own career path.
  • Step 2: Exploring career options

    • explore options by reading career guides for a variety of industry sectors taking into account the teen’s likes and dislikes and strengths and weaknesses
    • encourage volunteering particularly in industries the teen is interested in
    • arrange for the teen to talk to someone in the career of interest.
  • Step 3: Preparing for the career

    • if your teen is set on a career, assist the teen to select subjects of interest in high school and if the teen has not firmly decided on a career, the teen may benefit from a wide range of subjects
    • universities and tertiary colleges recognize the benefits of non-academic school activities such as sports, arts and leadership activities
    • encourage your teen to take up volunteering or part-time jobs to develop employment, communication, problem solving and teamwork skills.
  • Step 4: Embarking on the career

    • plan with your teen the best approaches and steps to take for the chosen career
    • for many jobs that require professional qualifications, eligibility will be dependent on successful qualifications. Conduct some research with your teen to review career pathways an pre-qualification requirements for the chosen career.

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