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Parents

The right course for your child…

  • Where do I ultimately want to be in life?
  • How should I do it?
  • How does this fit with my life values and goals?
  • What could be my next step?
  • How can I prepare for the next change as I do my current work?

If you’re a parent, projections or questions like this can help you guide your children to think about their education and their future..let them explore, try lots of things, but seed your conversations with them with projections like these, and bring a dose of reality to the discussion by showing them which occupations will be abundant and which may be more difficult to break into.

If their passion is in a sector or occupation that isn’t expected to see rapid job in the next decade, that’s okay. Encourage them to pursue their goals, but with data like they can do it from more informed perspective. For example, a teen interested in healthcare who is strong in the sciences will benefit from knowing that there are going to be roughly 35 times as many job opening for registered nurses as for veterinarians through 2020.

Encourage them to be a vet if that’s what they really want, and armed with this kind of data they’ll know the kind of competition they’re up against, which can be a strong motivator and them on to achieve this goal.

What are other ways this information will be useful for yourself and your kids?

  • Look for occupations that are going to add a lot of jobs in terms of raw numbers. This ensures you’re focused on big targets.
  • Look for areas that have high growth rates. Focusing in on these fast-growing industries and occupations can help future –proof your (or your kid’s) career and keep it in step with changing 21st century economy.
  • Look at the raw numbers and growth rates, but don’t forget the personal angle. If you’re thinking of a career change, where does your passion lie… and what to do you enjoy doing? Use the data to help guide and explore, but don’t force yourself (or your kids) into a career just because there are a lot of jobs to be had.

Changing perceptions of what a career is

What is a career and how do you advance it during your lifetime? There are changing perceptions of this. Gone are the days when upward promotion in one organization was expected.

Nowadays there is more of an emphasis on horizontal career development, and managing your own career. An example of this would be an IT specialist who believes that she has an excellent team leader skill and wants to work with more people, so she starts to seek out opportunities where she can develop and grow the necessary skills to be able to eventually move into management.

Because the structure of work is always changing, it’s important to consider your child’s career as a lifelong journey, rather than a destination. It is no longer enough to ask, “what should I do?”

The key to managing one’s own career is to take responsibility for it. Some things to pay attention to are:

  • Developing a wide range of transferable skills
  • Getting feedback
  • Doing work-related reading
  • Getting tertiary education and specific skill training
  • Getting mentoring and/or coaching

Thinking about all of these things will help your child to take responsibility for his career journey.