Choosing a career is one of the first major decisions a young person will make in their life. They will need advice and support at this crucial stage. A study by professional services organisation, EY, found the majority of parents are unaware of the myriad of options available to 18-year-olds. They don’t comprehend the implications of how decisions made at that time might affect their children’s careers in the long term.
That suggests that both parent and child benefit from working in tandem to outline possible career choices at an early age. By supporting a child at key stages, from primary school to secondary school and then onto higher education and university, parents can have a very positive input. That critical ten-year period should be a time for mutual learning, growth and adventure as parents look to steer young people towards the right path.
Before you begin to impart your wisdom and expertise, remember that you are not the most important factor in any decision making. You should not be overbearing and instead should aim to offer support in every way possible with the aim of allowing your child to make final choices on their own. There are a few ways to offer this support in an organic and positive manner.
Research shows that very young pupils can benefit from career education as it introduces them to the concept of work and how their studies tie into this end goal. Primary school is the time when a child’s career aspirations shift from ‘fantasies’ to ‘interests’. While more complex and in-depth career discussion is not recommended here, parents can offer support by increasing a child’s awareness of career opportunities and helping them to understand how their education is linked to future opportunities. Encouraging young children to learn bite size career skills can also have a positive impact on their decision making, listening and sociability skills.
Secondary school onward
When your child moves onto secondary school and becomes a teenager, you can move onto the next phase of careers education and planning. This is a stage when careers can be explored more seriously. During this time, encourage your child to look at a wide range of options. Listen carefully and don’t judge, and remember that not every young person will know exactly what they want to do. Give them time and space to figure it out on their own. Provide information via books, web pages and other resources that will help them to outline a few choices. Then enable them to decide which one may be right for them.
- Talk to teachers at parents’ evenings and use their advice to inform possible career choices. Try to speak to any careers advisors that visit.
- ‘Career days’ are a great way to bond with your child and open their eyes to the many possible career paths open to them.
- Discuss the pros and cons of a career, covering qualifications and higher education, and how they feed into your child’s own interests and strengths.
- Encourage them to contact people already working in a career they are excited about.
- Also encourage your child to gain work experience, either voluntary or via school schemes to see whether a career is suitable for him or her.
You want your child to succeed so it is good to know about a few of the career avenues. Careers that offer exciting and potentially lucrative job opportunities.
The UK’s financial sector is currently booming and in-demand job roles include financial analysts, accountants, investment bankers, payroll outsourcers and financial auditors. If your child shows an interest in maths, then this may be a potential career path for them. To secure a role in this industry, they should go to university. Then join a ‘fast track’ training programme as a graduate. Renowned businessman Ali Seytanpir has used his considerable expertise in finance to successfully invest in the property sector. That is an area your child could also pursue.
Tech and IT
A career in the tech industry offers potential for high-end salaries, excellent job prospects and room for personal development. Job roles include software engineers, web developers, software programmers and IT managers. There are a number of tech hubs in the UK, so this may be a great path for any child who loves working with computers and solving software problems.
Becoming a veterinarian or a doctor is one of the most popular aspirations for a young child. You could support and encourage them in their aim from secondary school onward. If a child is set on this career, they should opt for a chemistry or biology course at A-level. After securing the required grades, apply for a medical course at university.
The career options for a child are near limitless. Offer the support they need to decide on a route that is best for them. As a parent, you should always be a willing and able advisor, encourage individuality. Remember have an open mind to alternatives away from a purely academic path.
Until Next Time… Charlotte x