Help Your Teen – Without Overwhelming Them

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There will come a time in your teen’s life that they will need to start making decisions around what career they’d like to pursue. When you’re still in high school this can seem like a very overwhelming concept – so what can you do as a parent to encourage them and help get them started?

  • Start the conversation: Ask your teen questions like what type of environment would they like to work in (industrial, outside, in an office), do they want to be self employed or work for someone else, and if they could do any job in the world what would it be? These questions aren’t looking for definitive answers straight away, but will start the conversation flowing. Have fun with this and allow your teen to dream big.
  • Research: Once you have some ideas on job types or industries, help your teen do some research. Look into what study or on the job training (ie an apprenticeship) they need to do, what salary range they may be able to expect, and job availability. Also look at alternatives within their chosen career. An accountant, for example, may work within an accounting firm, within a small (or large company), or be self-employed. There are also different types of accounting.
  • Real life examples: Share your career path story with them – what study did you do, what twists and turns did you experience, and what are your goals for the future? Also talk about family members or friends, and their careers – especially if there’s someone within your circle who has the same job as your teen is showing an interest in. If there is, help your teen set up a time that they can chat to this person, and ask any questions they have.


There are lots of things you can do to help guide your teen along when they’re starting to look at what career they’d like to pursue. By following the above suggestions, you’re helping get the conversation started, and getting them thinking for themselves – but without putting too much pressure on them.


Bio: Do you or your teen need help with your resume, putting together a career plan, or getting a foot in the door of their chosen career?

Mary Kampen from RCT Careers has spent over 20 years in the Recruitment/HR, Training and Management Industry – and she’s here to help you. She does this by offering one-on-one consultation to get your resume in good shape, and to plan your employment strategy. Sound good? Then call or email Mary on 0412 544 670 or