How To Help Students Make Decisions About Their Career

Welcome to the fourth blog in the partnership between Not Going to Uni and Diosa Coaching. Today i am going to focus on partners, teachers, career advisers and guardians – anyone who is in a position where you have influence over young people’s decision making!

It’s a tough role to be in – you have unlimited opportunities for advice and guidance and with so many options and variables to consider it can feel overwhelming.

So here are my 5 top tips on how to help the young people in your life make decisions about getting the job of their dreams!

Tip one: Don’t let your preconceptions about the job market have an effect on their decision making

When you give advice, it tends to be based on your own experiences, or what you understand of a situation. However, in this case, it is essential that you to do your research. It isn’t enough to say – ‘that job is boring’, ‘that won’t suit you’, ‘that’s not for you’, ‘you have to go to university to succeed’. These are very outdated assumptions of an incredibly exciting and rich job market right now.

If a student comes to you for advice – listen to what they are saying or asking of you, do your research or seek your own advice so that you can be best informed.

Tip two: Do your research

There are countless places that you can do research if a student comes to you for advice or help. Companies like Not Going to Uni can help you with this search – search for ‘Graduate/School career advice’ and a whole heap of websites will be at your finger tips to browse through.

Think about the following

  • Are they interested in a particular industry?
  • Are they interested in a particular company?
  • Do they love a particular subject?
  • Are they interested in a particular hobby?

Whether it’s something they are fanatic about or they have a particular interest in – all of these things can be searched for and found on career websites.

Tip three: What are THEY interested in?

It is so easy to put your own preconceptions and interests into the minds of young people. However, it’s important to remember that each student will have their own unique sets of skills, values and beliefs about themselves and what they want to do in their life. So keep the focus always on them.

The recruitment market is constantly changing and evolving. Opportunities that you may not have had will suddenly be available, job opportunities that may seem outdated (such as apprenticeships) as the new latest thing for companies and they want your student to succeed! Keep your mind open, do your research and find out what THEY want from their life and job hunt.

Tip four: Go back to basics

It is perfectly normal for students to have absolutely no idea what they want to do with their lives! I don’t know about you but it’s taken me the best part of 31 years to connect the dots and find what i really want to do – so don’t expect your students to have it all figured out.

In my latest blogs – finding yourself and your dream job and actions speak louder than words you can find exercises that you could do with your students to help them work out what their vision is for their life.

Start there – work out what their skills, values and beliefs are, do a 5/10 year plan on where they see themselves and break down those visions into short, actionable plans.

For example

  1. What do employers need from your student in their A levels/GCSEs
  2. What universities offer courses on subjects that they love
  3. Do they have people they really admire – what do they do?
  4. Can they speak to someone in the industry who might be able to help them figure it out?
  5. Do you know someone who could offer them some work experience for a few weeks
  6. Push them to get a holiday job – to get experience of working, to help them earn some money to get a taste of freedom and the excitement of being able to afford what they want
  7. Are there career days/nights where they can go and speak to professionals in a wide-range of industries

Tip five: Be patient

It is challenging when you have people in your life/school/university who aren’t 100% sure on what to do, especially when you can recognise the importance of success.

But be patient – go back to basics as i said above and help them to understand themselves better and go from there.

Remember that the industry has changed and also that young people’s impression of work has changed in the last few years. Gone are the days when young people get into a job and stay there for years on end. Talk to students about their first job – think less about one job, for the rest of existence until you retire. Help them to see that the first step isn’t the last and to keep their minds open!

If you would like any further advice, or to talk to me in more details about this – please do get in touch.

Jenni is a life and career coach with Diosa Coaching. She has over 10 years of experience working in careers and recruitment. For more details on the services she offers or more information about Diosa Coaching please visit www.diosacoaching.comor find her on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn at Diosa Coaching.

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