The transition from school into the next stage of life represents a significant change. Leaving the school environment – a place of safety, routine and security – and entering into a new territory of responsibility and independence is exciting, but it can also be a daunting experience.
Your involvement as parents in supporting, guiding and advising is critical during this stage. Here are a few ways you can help your son transition to life after school.
1. Offer reassurance
The Foundation for Young Australians found that 15-year-olds today are “likely to make 17 changes in employers across five different careers” in their lifetime. All sectors, workers and jobs are going to continue to evolve over the next few decades. This means that your son will have more than one job and career – it will likely be many. Additionally, with the way the world is developing, it’s likely that at least of those future jobs doesn’t even exist yet.
In this fast-moving environment, it’s okay for your son to be undecided about what he wants to do with his life after school. As parents, it is helpful for you to ease some of the pressure your son might be feeling about his life plans. Encourage him to be open-minded, support him through trial and error, and help him to remain motivated.
2. Teach real-world skills
Research suggests that students need to be better prepared for life after school. In addition to classroom learning, students also need to hone life skills that will allow them to flourish in life.
Real-world skills that will be helpful for life after school include: time management, money management and budgeting, networking, approaching potential employers, and practical skills like cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes.
3. Discuss options
Help your son picture what his future could look like. What is he passionate about? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Read about how your son can play to his strengths.
Does he want to continue further study? Is your son looking to get work experience? Or perhaps he may want to take a gap year?
Making these choices early on will give your son some clarity on what the next steps should be.
4. Make a plan
Once you’ve gone through all the options, work together with your son to come up with a plan for the short-term future.
If he’s looking to study:
- What programmes are available?
- What are the grade requirements?
- How much does it cost?
- What options are available for funding?
- What is Plan B if he doesn’t gain entry to his preferred course of study?
If your son wants to work:
- What kind of work is available?
- What skills and work experience does your son have already or how can he get them?
- Do you have any employer connections that will help your son get work experience?
If he wants to take a gap year:
- Does he want to travel, volunteer, or get a part-time job?
- What skills does he want to gain?
- How can he make the most of this time off?
5. Encourage continuous learning
Just because your son has completed high school, it doesn’t mean that he stops learning. If anything, it’s only the beginning of a lifelong journey of learning!
There will be many opportunities for him to gain new knowledge and skills, to change life and career directions, and to grow as an individual. Remind your son that learning is a continuous process and he should remain open to learning opportunities and growing as a person.
Seeing your son grow into a mature young man is an exciting journey to be a part of. Your support and guidance in helping him find his feet as he transitions to life after school is critical.
Our mission at Trinity Grammar School is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning.
Trinity’s Pastoral Care guidelines focus on the fundamentals of good parenting – providing both care and discipline – enabling boys to grow into self-confident, trustworthy and resilient young men. Combined with an ongoing partnership between the School and home, your son will thrive in a consistent, caring and nurturing environment.
Our Life Skills Programme is part of a whole of School approach to health and wellbeing that enhances our boys’ capacity to be emotionally resilient and socially competent. Discover more by downloading our Year 12 Life Skills Programme now.