The big questions – what subjects should I study, should I leave school or stay, is industry training better than a course, and what about university – can have a huge impact on teens.
Leave it too long to get involved or try to tell the kids what they should do and you’ve found the recipe for disaster.
Teens may think mum and dad know nothing. The reality is that what parents do for a living; where they live; their education, knowledge and skills; what they earn; and how they spend their time and money have a huge influence on their child’s career decisions, says Ailsa Tini, career consultant at Careers New Zealand.
Tips for parents
•Be your child’s advocate. “Help provide them contacts and don’t let them go it alone.”
•Never ask teens what they are going to do for a job. Ask them what they enjoy at school and talk to their strengths and interests.
•Schools don’t prepare teens for making decisions about study and transition from school.
•Listen to your teens and try to put yourself in their shoes.
•Get involved in their career choices, understand what is happening in the classroom and how the qualifications system works.
•Encourage your children’s interests even though they may not be your interests and try to see your teens for who they are.
•Understand that the world is changing. It’s expected that in 20 years’ time 80 per cent of current jobs will no longer exist in the form we know now.
•Great marks aren’t enough. Employers want to employ a whole person.
•Join your teens on tours of tertiary institutions.
•If you’re concerned about your teen’s career choices or think they need to think more broadly see advice from experts such as your career team at school.