While children and young people should be learning about careers and the world of work at school, parents play an important role in supporting their learning. It's important to help children understand the different careers available to them, as well as the key employability skills that will enable them to be a valuable employee in whatever profession they choose.
Here are some suggestions of things you can do to help your child/children not only to understand the wealth of roles out there in the market place but to understand and develop the skills that will help them become more 'employable' and to help to develop their aspirations:
- Talk to your child about why it is important to work. How working earns you money to eat, drink and dress.
- Find out what your child's dream job is and why. What do they think the job actually involves day-to-day.
- Talk with your child about the different jobs you may have had throughout your life. Start with your very first job and continue this discussion throughout your life at work. When you get to your current or most recent role, ask your child to tell you what they think you do each day before telling them in your own words.
- To bring in some of the financial implications of work, talk to your child about salaries and how these change by industry, job title, qualifications and experience. Do they know how much they'd earn in their dream job?
- Which subjects does your child enjoy most at school
- Does your child's school offer career days, 'go to work' days or anything else that will help support and encourage their career aspirations. Find out what they do at school and if they have any additional questions that aren't answered in the classroom.
- With your child identify their main strengths, explain these are qualities of a person. Discuss how these might affect the type of work that they want to do. E.g. if they are really good at football then maybe they could get into this professionally. What would they need to do and is this realistic?
- Set some simple goals for your child which will show them how important it is to work towards them to accomplish them.
- Now talk through some of their weaknesses and see if you can come up with ways they might improve on these together.
- Find out what dream job your child wants and get them to identify what they think the main skills are for that job.
- Help them to write a character description about themselves, help them identify all of their key skills and qualities, e.g. listening, being shy, etc.
- Next help them to create a job advert about their dream job. Remind them of the skills needed.