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How does your teenager make career choices?

How does your teenager make career choices?

Casual scribe

How does your teenager make career choices?

Hi everyone,


First time posting so I hope this is appropriate Smiley Happy


I have heard from lots of people that the career counsellors at schools are not particularly well equipped to help kids make decisions about their future. Not that career counsellors are to blame, instead there are so many career options these days that it can be really confusing and difficult for kids.


Whilst there are still traditional careers in the digital era there are so many other options to consider that it gets a bit overwhelming. And kids need to choose subjects relatively early to then lead into pathways i.e. apprenticeships, TAFEs, uni.


I wanted to check in to see if this is an issue for your kids, and therefore you as parents? How do your kids make decisions about their future? Do you feel equipped to help them?



Thank you in advance for sharing!






Super frequent scribe

Re: How does your teenager make career choices?

Hi @indsg12 just a quick note to let you know that I've move this post from the Chillout board into this 'Connecting with teenagers & their wellbeing' board. This is a really interesting and relevant topic that many parents would face, so we want to ensure it is easily found by everyone.


Re: How does your teenager make career choices?

Hi @indsg12 . I have a teen going  through  this right now ! She is not a particularly academic  child so that makes it harder ! And she hates school ! We have had a talk about career path and she says she feels very stressed because everyone at school seems to be obsessed with decision making and she just has no ideas for her own pathway. 

She seems to think that she must decide now . I tell her that many people don't know for years what they  want to be when they grow up and some like my husband still struggle . 

My advice to her was this : 

people transition through many careers nowadays . It is normal to have  2or 3 maybe even more careers through your entire career trajectory and even more jobs ! 

I went from an Arts degree to TV , to theatre , to teaching to counsellor !!  All jobs have  utilised part of my potential abilities .  Loved them all and felt they all were developing my skills . 

So the best thing to do is rather than be paralysed by not knowing and do nothing , pick something that you are good at and enjoy . If you are good at it but hate it - it's a waste of your time . 

How do you know  what you like at 15, 16, 17 ?

Ask him this : Tell me something that you are doing where you forget about time ?  Where you go " oh God I need to stop this and go do..." 

This  is when he is tapping into his authentic self . He  stops clock watching and is in his " flow " . It could be tennis  , reading, writing , video games , drawing , painting , doing maths ,  watching the news , talking to people about their feelings , organising social events , web site design ,  whatever it is ! Then extrapolate from that a possible career path . I would never advice anyone concentrate on a subject they are fab at  but don't enjoy . They will get sick of it . 

Starting a degree in something , a vocational course in something  -and then either switching when they know what they want to do and get credit or finish the degree and build upon it . 

I had a student I was counselling  who said he didn't know what to focus on at school , his dad wants him  to have a " great career " I said what do you find fun at school , he said languages and web coding and reading . There it is ! He started teaching himself  Chinese online , stepped up his reading and did some web coding at home . 

Always always choose something that interests you rather than what you are good at , if it's both bonus !!  Career choice is an ongoing  , organic , unfolding  aspect of life , encourage him to see it as this rather than a decision made and kept forever . 

Hope that helps ! 

Casual scribe

Re: How does your teenager make career choices?

Thanks @Danielle-RO Smiley Happy

Casual scribe

Re: How does your teenager make career choices?

Hi @motherbear!


Thanks so much for your response and insights. It sounds like you too have gone through a bit of a journey with your career making you rather well equipped to help and guide teens.


I'd love to find out more about what (if anything) is being offered at schools. I understand that there are career teachers which might be made up of graduate teachers who have recently left the system so they can connect/advise students.


If schools aren't well equipped then what do parents do? Do they look for people like yourself to help and guide their kids?


Many thanks!



Re: How does your teenager make career choices?

Hi @indsg12, yes I think you would be well placed to find a " career counsellor for teens"  . I would suggest googling those three words and your suburb . Perhaps there is some online career coach/ counsellor you can hook your son up with . Online counselling is relatively cheap , too and  if they are not in your area it doesn't matter .   A couple of sessions should get his cogs turning . The school usually has a career counsellor , but they are not always that creative , a professional would be able to dig deeper and he would fill in questionnaires to guide him . 

Best of luck ! 

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