Taking steps to prepare for a career
As part of the career planning process, teens can get a head start in their chosen careers by doing the following:
- read up on the career;
- select subjects useful to the career or required in pursuit of the career;
- build up skills required for the career;
- get ‘real world’ experience in the field or industry sector by volunteering, seeking internship or job shadowing;
- meet other professionals in the field or industry sector;
- build up a good resume from participating in teamwork programs (e.g. Duke of Edinburgh or cadet programs), volunteering and other extra-curricular activities.
Parents can be excellent sounding boards for teens in making important decisions. Communication keeps parents and the teen involved in the teen’s thought making process.
Career planning advice
1. Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction is dependent on many factors – job location, stress, interest in work, family, work atmosphere and so on. The more informed the teen is, the more prepared the teen will be when embarking on a career.
2. Build interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are critical for a successful career. They include:
- listening skills – ability to listen and learn
- questioning skills – ability to ask questions and to clarify a position or statement
- communication skills – ability to communicate clearly with work colleagues, customers, clients and bosses
- assertiveness skills – ability to be assertive
- critical self-analysis skills – ability to reflect on actions and analyse such actions to improve on self.
3. Do not stop learning
The world is constantly changing and new technology, new ways of doing business will challenge current skills set. Teens should be aware that skills may need to be upgraded or updated to meet the needs of the changing world.
4. Do the best you can
Good work ethics separate successful people from the average. Becoming pro-active in the workplace and making suggestions for improvements in a positive way are examples of showing commitment to the job.
5. Build a network
Many jobs are introduced by friends and contacts. Building a strong network provides many opportunities for discussion and for gaining industry knowledge.
- Teen Career Planning: Where to Start
- Teen Career Planning: Step 1 Getting Teens to Know Themselves
- Teen Career Planning: Step 2 Reviewing Career Options
- Teen Career Planning: Step 3 Preparing for a Career