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8 tips on encouraging your child's career ambitions - Careers

There are plenty of great ways you can help your child map their career and decide on the best route to take- even if they have no idea on the path they want to follow. 

It can be difficult as a young person to decide, and as National Careers Week is coming up, we’re offering some top tips for helping your child map their future.

What is National Careers Week?

The National Careers Week (NCW) is set to return once again between March 7-11, and is is dedicated to guiding young people to think about where they would like to fit in the professional world. There are a huge range of excellent resources on hand, from general guidance to employability events.

National Careers Week brings together students, local employers and advisers to encourage students up and down the country, highlighting opportunities and providing expert advice on choosing the right career.

But how can you encourage the young people in your care to think about their options?

8 tips for choosing a future career

  1. What is their working style?

Everyone is different and this is what makes the world go round. As such, certain careers are better suited to some than others - understanding how they work can be crucial to steering them towards a profession. For instance, does they work better in a structured environment or are they competent working independently and to their own deadlines? Are they a daydreamer or procrastinator?

        2. Utilise their talents

What are your child’s hobbies and interests? Is there anything they’re particularly good at? Can these talents be transferred into the workplace? For instance, if your child is particularly good on the practical side of things, a trade career could be perfect. There are plenty of apprenticeships on offer to provide on-the-job training, qualifications and a wage, all in one.

        3. Great big spender?

Although the monetary side of things shouldn’t take the forefront of their decision, it’s important to help your child understand that future earnings will have a massive impact on their quality of life. Do they have dreams to travel abroad regularly, for instance? Remember, whilst entry level jobs are typically lower paid, there’s often the opportunity for progression and in turn, a step-up in pay bracket.

        4. University isn’t always the answer

Many people have the misconception that university is the answer when leaving school. However, with fees stretching to £9,000 a year on university courses alone, it no longer has the same lure as before. Instead, why not highlight the other options available once your child completes their GCSEs and A Levels, such as college courses and apprenticeships. The latter helps them earn whilst learning too.

         5. Getting social at work

You spend a third of your life with work colleagues (yes, that’s 33%!) – so finding a career that fits in well with their social preferences is key. For those who are independent, why not look at careers with the option of working from home or in smaller teams? Those that love socialising and meeting new people could find themselves at home in public service jobs, such as policing or in healthcare.

          6. Steer them to a careers adviser

Career advisors will get an understanding of your child’s interests, whilst assessing their core skills and talents. These can then be matched up with potential career prospects. This can give youths a great insight into certain professions and help them learn more about roles they haven’t previously considered.  

           7. Use self-assessment tools

This isn’t an alternative to visiting a careers advisor but can be a great starting point. There are plenty of websites offering these self-assessments and they take the form of quizzes and aptitude tests to calculate the industries and professions that best match. They’ll also be provided with guidance on the best entry routes into their career and the qualifications required to succeed.

            8. Real experience is the best experience

In truth, no-one can really understand the daily highs and lows of a certain profession, without witnessing this first-hand. So, encourage your son or daughter to take part in work experience. They should actively speak to businesses or professionals in the industry they’re considering and ask to spend a couple of weeks in their office or workspace.

If you have any queries about how to encourage a young person in your care, or anyone you know thinking about a career change, get in contact with us today. We’ll be more than happy to help.

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