Parents play a significant role in supporting their teenagers to make informed decisions about their career pathways. Traditionally, career counselling services for students was geared towards identifying an appropriate career destination and providing job market information.

Those days are gone……….

As the world of work demands more flexible work identities, narrow and linear forms of career advice is not useful in supporting parents, who increasingly carry the burden of career-related support (Patton 2001).

Today young adults are faced with much longer periods of time in the transition from school to employment than they were in previous generations.  Further to this, young adults will face multiple career decisions throughout their life.   In fact, a recent report by Future Young Australians, 2017, identified that a job for life is no longer the norm and individuals will most likely change jobs, even careers, several times over their lifetime.  Today’s 15-year-olds will likely navigate 17 changes in employer across 5 different careers. They will sometimes be self-employed, at other times working with and for others.  FYA, 2016.

So, here’s 3 tips for parents

Often parents hear the word ‘career’ and think back to when they were younger it was the norm to choose a career path for life.  Those days are gone.  

  1. Many parents report they feel overwhelmed about how to help their teenager in making informed career decisions. The often believe they might give them incorrect advice, resulting in the teenager making the wrong decision.  In today’s fast changing world there is no such things a wrong choice because a career decision is not a single event. Career paths are no longer linear with a fixed destination, rather career paths are now a journey, with multiple roads and numerous destinations, guided by available support, and ever-growing opportunities.  There will be bumps in the road along the way, however, the key is to support your teen in overcoming these bumps.  Making sure you learn teens learn and understand the power of resilience and the ability to bounce back is a skill that will serve them well in the 21st century working world.
  1. A single university degree will no longer serve your teen throughout their working life.  Generic skills such as communication, problem solving, personal attributes and adaptability are required more than ever.   Consider helping your teen to talent stack.   What I mean by this is encourage your teen to attend short hands on training courses, volunteer, undertake part time work and travel.  By doing this they will gain core portable skills required to move into the new working world.  Teenagers are well advised to build a portfolio of skills and target key learning areas to open job related and career opportunities throughout the course of their working life. Building these skills and resources can facilitate overall participation in life, learning and work.
  1. Given the complex and ever-changing post-school environment it is important that young people are well informed and have occupational and educational plans (Sikora & Saha 2011). There is a strong relationship between holding such plans and having a professional or managerial job by the age of 25 years. Conversely, not having a career plan can be detrimental to later occupational attainment. Career development services have been shown to increase, in the short to medium term, educational engagement and attainment, self-awareness and self-confidence, and awareness of the job market. Another positive outcome is the strengthened pathways for those at risk of disengagement, and improved employ-ability and job fit (Miles Morgan Australia 2012b). Career development can promote well being and contribute to the overall health of a society. Robertson (2013).

Never underestimate the influence you, as a parent have, over your teens career choice.  Many studies have shown found that a parent’s influence is so strong it overrides the influence of teachers, school counsellors and friends.

Your child’s future depends on what you do today 

If you would like to find out more information about the type of career advice and guidance that you can give to your children, especially as they near closer to working in the real world, then please leave us a comment below or give our team a call on 07 3355 6688.