Career Planning for Teens

What is career planning? Here are some tips for teenagers on how to plan a career, and suggestions on how you can best prepare your teen for the future while they are still in school.

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As teenagers start to define their personal strengths and interests, it is also a good time to assess their abilities and look ahead towards a possible future career path. Here's some advice on how you can guide your teens in choosing an ideal career path based on their own strengths, while also offering them a head start in planning for the future.

Career Planning for Students

Successful career planning involves three steps: reflection, exploration and planning. Do the following exercises with your teen to help guide and strengthen the career planning process.

Reflection

Everyone has a unique skill set coupled with different interests. Get your teen to spend some time reflecting on his or her interests, strengths and skills. What makes him or her tick or what particular hobbies does he or she enjoy? Is there a particular dream he or she would like to see come to life? What personal qualities does he or she possess that makes him or her shine?

Whether he or she has a way with animals, is a virtuoso in music or has a knack for cheering people up, knowing your child’s specific interests, strengths and skills can help to narrow down and define his or her future dream job down the road.

Exploration

What if your teen is not sure of his or her strengths or interests? Fret not; encourage him or her to start exploring by taking up a class, attending a workshop or watching documentaries. Sign him or her up for internships or apprenticeships, and even competitions if he or she is open to the idea. Getting a taste of the field or industry will give your teen a good idea on the suitability of certain career tracks in the long run. Exposing your teen to as many opportunities as possible now will also broaden his or her horizons, and may prove beneficial when they enter the working world.

Planning

Once your teen has more or less narrowed down his or her areas of interest, a more defined career plan can now be formed. Get your teen to speak to someone who has or has had his or her ideal job, such as an older friend or relative. Find out what kind of qualifications are needed to get the job, how long the academic programmes take to complete and how much they cost. It would also be good to think about the sort of skills your teen will need to master, and outstanding examples in the field that he or she can learn from.

Career Advice for Teenagers: Steps to Take Today

Taking active steps now to gain exposure, reap practical experience and achieve accolades will give your teen a head start when the time comes to apply for an actual job. 

Here are some things that your teen can do even before graduation to gain that extra edge:
Get an internship or apprenticeship
Find a mentor
Learn a foreign language
Go on an overseas immersion course
Volunteer at a community club
Start a small enterprise or grow a movement
Join and contribute to a skill- or interest-based class or workshop
Attend career fairs

The possibilities that lie ahead for your teen’s future are endless! Starting the career planning process early will give your child the best possible chance at a meaningful and fulfilling career later in life.

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Career Planning for Teens

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