It’s never too soon to prepare your teen for a future-proof career.
Most people would agree that navigating a family member’s transition from teenager to adult has always been a challenge. One of the hardest parts is empowering that family member to find a viable career and become self-supporting.
Today, new technologies have complicated the career planning process to a greater extent than ever before. Technology’s accelerating pace means that new software is being adopted faster than people can learn how to use it, and the old ways of doing things are becoming obsolete at a dizzying rate of speed.
Many of today’s top career options – for example, cybersecurity manager, data scientist and mobile applications engineer — are recent innovations that were only made possible by the mass adoption of specific technologies. This makes it more challenging than ever for teens to choose a viable career path – because it is unrealistic to think they could successfully guess at what technologies will be most prominent when they will reach their prime earning potential sometime in middle age.
It might be impossible for today’s teens to map out a precise career path, but there are bunches of things you can do to prepare your teen for the uncertain job market of the future. Let’s discuss some of the steps you can take to prepare your teen for a viable career in the future.
1. Discover Your Teen’s Strongest Talents and Passions
Be proactive about discussing possible career paths with your teen. These discussions will ideally begin in years 9 and 10, even if your teen plans to continue studying through year 12. With proper planning, teens can be empowered to better tailor their senior year class selections to advance their future career goals.
Assessing your teen’s talents and passions can be beneficial during this process. If your teen has a natural aptitude for nurturing others, perhaps they would be happy in a career as a nurse or an aged care worker. If they enjoys building things, perhaps they would thrive in a career as a tradie, product developer, architect or engineer. If your teen is able to identify a match betweentheir passions and future career, they’ll be likelier to succeed in establishing and continuing in that career.
2. Research Possible Career Paths Together
Your teen might already have an idea of which career path he might like to pursue. Even if he does, it is wise to carefully research any career paths he may be considering.
As you research with your teen, it’s important for you to keep an open mind. Circumstances have dramatically changed since you made the transition from teenager to adult. Remind yourself that the career paths you always considered to be “safe” may not actually be so safe any more – and it is important for both you and your teen to consider this possibility as you plan for the future. For example, experts predict that jobs for accountants and legal assistants are likely to decline, because these jobs will most likely be automated in the future.
3. Encourage Your Teen to Acquire Needed Credentials
Many career paths require specific credentials for maximum success. Some require a university degree. Others require vocation-specific training courses or diplomas. Financial planning courses are a great help in planning for future financial security, and other TAFE study can provide excellent preparation for a variety of viable career paths ranging from hairdressing to engineering.
Once you’ve determined the type of employment your teen aspires to pursue, encourage him to seek out relevant training for that career path. Offer transportation to any local talks, lectures or workshops where he can learn more about that career. Provide support in scheduling interviews at suitable academic institutions where your child might obtain the needed credentials for success.
Also encourage your teenager to ask advisors at school about possible work experience opportunities. Work experience is important for securing some types of roles, so an apprenticeship or internship could prove to be extremely valuable for advancing your teen’s future career.
It’s also crucial to encourage your teen to perpetually continue learning and developing his or her skills, even after secondary school is complete. According to many experts, lifelong learning will be of utmost importance for workers if they hope to go on being employable throughout the duration of their adulthood.
We have no idea where technology will take us in the future. No doubt, there will continue to be fresh and innovative inventions that will pave the way for new and exciting job opportunities we can’t even begin to envision now. Taking these 3 steps will increase the likelihood that your teen will be well prepared for a viable career in the future.