As a parent or carer, you are likely to be the single biggest influence on your child’s thoughts and feelings about their future career. You are reading this because you care deeply about them having a happy and productive life. It is really important that you are aware of the influence you have and that you try your best to give positive, supportive and empowering advice rather than negative, restricting and disempowering.
A good parent helps their child the most when they:
- Have a good general understanding of the options available
- Listen carefully to their child’s views without being judgmental or critical
- Are open to new ideas and possibilities
- Encourage them to explore all their options
How can I help my child with their career plans?
- Talk to them about careers they might be interested in and why they appeal to them. Don’t make a big deal out of it
- Ask them about the help available in their school. Is there a careers library? Are there online careers programs they can access? Are there careers and employability tutorials delivered at school?
- Some schools arrange for their students to complete a career interests questionnaire. Check whether this will happen with your child. If so, it is an excellent opportunity to start a conversation about their future options
- Help them to explore the possible opportunities available in your local area. You should be able to find lots of useful information on the web site of your local council. Keep an eye out for things like open days (at colleges and training organisations) and careers fairs held locally
- Encourage them to participate in out of school activities. These are valuable in themselves and will help greatly later on in giving a good impression to people like employers or course tutors
- If a careers adviser attends parents evenings take advantage of this opportunity to gather useful information and broaden out your child’s career thinking
- Check whether the school has a formal work experience programme during Key Stage 4 or in the sixth form. If not, check out the possibility of arranging something yourself with work colleagues or friends. Half terms provide a great opportunity for school learners to get into a work experience placement
To supplement the support offered by schools the government has created an organisation called the National Careers Service, which offers online support for young people aged 11-19 via text/email, a free phone telephone advice line, web chat and on their web site found here.
Encourage and support – but don’t dictate!
Support from parents is very important when key decisions such as subject choices are being made. While it may not always feel that way, young people do take notice of advice offered to them by their parents or carers. Just keep in mind that your child’s decisions should be based on their personal interests, aspirations and abilities.
The more you know about the information, advice and guidance that is available and where it can be accessed, the better. Don’t be afraid to contact the school or local college if you have any questions.
Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions. You can call us on 02476 932 932 or fill in our enquiries form found here.