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Empowering Teenagers with Career Readiness

Making sure that your child is Ready for the Working World 

Guest Contribution: Jose Hurst*

As parents, we need to take the extra step to ensure that our children are prepared to adapt to the ever-changing world with ease and grace.

To make this possible, we need to equip them with the skills and lessons that’ll enable them to take on their future with confidence and pride and to show them that we want them to succeed in all aspects of their lives.

Unpacking career readiness

Parents need to make sure that their children are ready for the working world. A fair amount of teenagers work odd jobs while they’re still in school, which can give them an idea of what is expected of them in the job sphere. However, they still need to be prepared for what’s out there when they decide to pursue a career. 

Having a college education is extremely beneficial as they’ll be equipped with the necessary hard skills for the job, but graduating does not always mean that your child will be fully prepared for the next phase of their life. In essence, it’ll make the transition into work life much easier. 

What does career readiness mean for teenagers?

Career readiness is having the required soft and hard/technical skills that’ll help you succeed when you start a new job or make distinct moves in your career. We need to ensure that our children are equipped with the tools that’ll make their move into adulthood that much easier.

Being career-ready means that your child will be able to find a suitable job and easily identify their role’s requirements and the results that they need to produce. They also need to show potential to grow professionally in their job role.

Parents are urged to help cultivate career-readiness skills in their children because schools tend to have varied approaches when it comes to implementing career readiness. 

You need to give your child the opportunity to explore a number of career options that are available and how to find one that is most suited to them. You can teach them about professionalism and what is required of them in a workplace setting – i.e. how to behave, attitude, as well as being responsible about the tasks set out for them. Most importantly, they need to be aware of essential skills that are standard in any job, career, or industry that they may find themselves in. These essential skills include being able to communicate efficiently, being able to think critically and with a problem-solving attitude, being financially literate, being emotionally intelligent, being able to manage their stress well etc. Punctuality is another major factor in work ethics hence preparing your child through time management training courses is another extra step you can take to future-proof their careers.

One of the important aspects of implementing career readiness is being able to directly address skills gaps issues that new employees tend to face when they start working at a new job, as most employers do not want to teach these softer skills to their new hires. This is also useful due to the constantly-evolving and increasingly competitive nature of the job market; having these skills will provide your child a competitive edge against other applicants. It will also make their transition into the working world smoother. 

The importance of taking an active role in your child’s career readiness skills

As a parent, only you can ensure that your child is equipped as best as they can be when they move on to the next phase of their life – schools do as much as they can, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t put in the work too. Being responsible for your child’s ability to assimilate into the working world, might feel like a daunting task, but you do as much as you can by nurturing and supporting them in the decisions that they make. 

Ways to help your child become career-ready

These are some of the ways you can help your child make headway into becoming career-ready.

  • Part-time Jobs: Encourage your child to get a part-time job, if that is something you do not mind them doing while they’re still in school. This will help give them an idea of how things operate in the working world. 
  • Internships: You can also encourage them to apply for internships and to shadow professional people in a career that they’re considering. 
  • Volunteering: Enroll your children into volunteer activities where they’ll be able to understand teamwork, respect, and responsibility. 
  • Journaling: Encourage them to start journaling so that they’re able to practice empathy and self-understanding. 
  • Mental Health: Help them focus on and understand their mental health which will aid with their confidence and their ability to help others. 
  • Practice with them: Create mock interviews, so they’ll have an idea of how interviews work.  This will minimize their anxiety surrounding job interviews and will also help foster skills such as critical thinking and interpersonal skills. 
  • Extracurricular Activities: Encourage a child to participate in activities that they enjoy and show proficiency in, as they can help them make decisions related to their career choice. 
  • Explore options: Help them discover all the jobs that are possible, and how each job contributes to society. Ensure that they keep their options open and have a few career paths that they would like to follow – this helps with the uncertainty of many career fields and the competitiveness of the job market. 

Summary

Parenting is not an easy task, but helping your child become career-ready shows them that you have confidence in them.  Further, equipping them with the essential skills to succeed in the workplace and in other parts of their lives will help them stand out from the competition. Give your child that edge and empower them!

*Jodie is a financial analyst, turned entrepreneur, who advises businesses on using technology to manage teams, upskill staff, and streamline business processes.

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Christy Keating is a certified parent coach,  positive discipline educator, and motivational speaker. She is the founder and CEO of The Heartful Parent Collective, which includes Heartful Parent Coaching, Savvy Parents Safe Kids, and Heartful Parent Academy.

The mother of two amazing daughters, Christy strives to build a happier, healthier world - one child, one parent, and one family at a time.