Exploring career options can be a time of great deliberation for your son, and he will inevitably look to you for advice and support. While some boys have known what they want to do for work from a young age, others might need more time and research to decide.
The simple reality is that the world is changing at such a rate that parents are not always fully equipped with the resources to provide career advice, not to mention the fact that many jobs of the future may not exist yet.
It is estimated a 17 year old of today will have up to five different careers in their working life … but they will still have to decide which career path to take first. With this in mind, we have prepared a list of five ways to help your son plan his future.
1. Examine possible careers
The world is a very different place today to the one you would have faced when making study and career related decisions. So, to better understand the range of job options available and what skills are required, visit the career information section of the Australian Government website. This will enable you to examine some of the specific roles in the sector that your child is most interested in.
2. Encourage individuality
Have ongoing conversations with your son about his areas of interest. What subjects does he enjoy most or do well in? Through discussion, try to identify his individuality and from there, careers that might suit him. Be careful that you don't unintentionally pressure your child to realise your own unfulfilled ambitions.
Be realistic about your child's potential. If you are concerned about his study choices consult his teachers or guidance counsellor.
4. Be open minded
There are many options of study available now compared to the past. Your son may choose a different career path to you, so it is important to be open to this possibility. For example he may choose a vocational path for his senior years at School – this can put him a step in front when he is ready to join the workforce full-time.
5. Encourage networking
Networking is a very valuable skill and should be encouraged from an early age. It is never too early for your son to start on his Curriculum Vitae. Help your son to seek out work experience placements, take up volunteering roles, or simply speak with people already working in a sector that he is interested in. Your own professional and social networks may even come in handy here.
6. Support but don’t take over
There is a fine line between guiding and supporting your son, to taking over and organising it all for him – try to avoid the latter. A large part of the learning is in the organising. Encourage your son to be independent, while letting him know that you are always there if he needs support.
Trinity Grammar School has an extensive programme aimed at helping boys to determine their future career path. For example, through a series of workshops, students learn skills to help them with their studies and life after the HSC/IB. The Career Education Life Skills Programme helps students develop practical skills that assist them in building their resume and joining the workforce. “Although good grades are important, employers also look for well-rounded individuals who are able to demonstrate their skills outside the classroom,” said Dr Frederick Osman, Director of Vocational Education at Trinity Grammar School.
“Our Life Skills Careers Programme instils the skills students need for life after high school, whether that be as tertiary students or as part of the workforce.”
“The programme, which runs throughout the term, also includes lunchtime sessions with universities and pathway providers who offer students in Years 10 to 12 examples of what life is like after Year 12. I view these lunchtime sessions as students’ first career lunches. Often important life lessons are discussed over lunch or during a family meal, so this really makes a difference.”
To equip parents and students with the knowledge to feel secure in their subject selections, Trinity Grammar School also holds detailed information evenings for Year 7 boys and Year 10 boys and their parents. On these evenings, families have the opportunity to hear information on subject options together, and may take advantage of the many staff who will be available to offer information and advice.
The School also held a joint Old Trinitarians’ Union (OTU) and Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Careers and Industry Expo at the Summer Hill campus. The event was designed to provide Years 10 to 12 students with an academic and vocational focus in creating future pathways, planning transition pathways, exploring career futures, strengthening student outcomes through vocational learning and building networks and connections.
A focus on careers gives students an individual purpose in learning which increases their confidence and motivation and thus their engagement. At Trinity, our goal is to support our students and their families in identifying and understanding each student’s strengths and capabilities, maximising opportunities for their current and future lives. Choosing a career should be an exciting and empowering process, but for many young people it can be difficult to take a step back and look at the options objectively.
See why Trinity is one of Sydney's leading schools for boys and discover how we can inspire your son to realise his potential, passions and purpose, by registering for our Open Day.