Even from a young age, it’s important for children to begin thinking about their careers and the world of work. Parents are a huge part of this careers discussion, and as parents, you can have a huge impact alongside the careers work that will occur in schools.
As a parent, you want to create a positive and supporting environment for your child to begin thinking about careers. Encourage them to explore a range of careers and think about what they might enjoy about each one. There are a few ways that you can do this:
Chat to them about careers
When you’re talking about careers with your child, it’s important not to make a big deal out of it or to make it seem forced. You can use TV shows or your own jobs as prompts.
The key thing is not to be patronising. Allow your child to come to their own conclusions, and ask them why they feel a certain why rather than trying to push them in certain directions.
Explore your family members’ and friends’ career options with them
The other adults in your child’s life make a great starting point for careers discussions. Use other family members of friends to discuss a range of careers with your child, and ask them to think about what they might enjoy in those jobs.
Explore resources in your local area
You can use your local area as a way to encourage careers reflection. Talk about local employers and even apprenticeship or further education providers, and keep an eye out for things like open days or careers fairs which you could attend.
Remember to broaden out your approach as well. You can use different geographical areas as a way to think about the different kinds of careers that might be on offer.
Take advantage of schools
There’ll be lots of careers education going on in your child’s school. Ask them questions about how they’re doing, and continue any debates or questions that might arise from their experiences.
Your child’s school may offer a work experience programme, careers library, dedicated careers adviser, or a careers questionnaire service. All of these resources are fantastic ways for your child to begin thinking about their future careers.
If your child is thinking about their careers options, COA offer a range of products that can help. From Centigrade, which helps them with their university options, to Probe, designed to introduce the world of careers, COA offers expert advice which guides children through the complex world of careers choices.