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What is the Best Age for Career Counseling?

Different Aged People Doing Career Counseling

As a parent, it can be challenging to know when to start talking about careers with your teenager. Is it too early to have this conversation? Have you missed the boat if they have already selected their university degree? The truth is that career counselling can be helpful at any age, but there are certain developmental stages that are particularly opportune. In this blog post, we’ll cover the three stages of teenagers’ career development and the benefits of starting career counselling in the teenager years.

What is Career Counseling and Why Should I Care About Age for it

Before diving into the various stages of teenagers’ career development, it’s important to understand what career counselling is and why it matters. Career counselling is a process of self-discovery in which individuals explore different career options and develop a plan for achieving their career goals. Working with a career counsellor can help you identify your strengths and interests, research job opportunities, and prepare for the job search process. It can also help you navigate difficult decisions related to schooling, job offers, and career changes. So, why does age matter? The earlier you start career exploration, the more time you have to try different things and build a solid foundation of skills and experience.

The Three Stages of Teenagers in Their Career Development

The first stage of teenagers’ career development is “dreaming.” During this stage, teenagers are exploring their interests and imagining what their future careers might look like. Parents can facilitate this exploration by encouraging their children to try new activities, providing resources on different careers, and engaging in meaningful conversations about their children’s aspirations.

The second stage is “exploring.” During this stage, teenagers begin to take concrete steps towards their career goals, such as enrolling in career-related courses or internships. Parents can support their children’s exploration by providing access to career counselling services, facilitating job shadowing opportunities, and networking with professionals in fields of interest.

The third stage is “deciding.” During this stage, teenagers make decisions about their future careers based on their interests, experiences, and values. Parents can help their children during this transition by providing emotional support, connecting them with mentors in their fields of interest, and helping them make informed decisions about their education and career paths.

Benefits of Starting Career Exploration During the High School Years

Now that we’ve covered the stages of teenagers’ career development, why is it important to start career exploration during the high school years? For starters, starting early allows teenagers to “test drive” different careers and identify their strengths and weaknesses while they still have time to develop new skills. It also allows for more opportunities to build a network of contacts, which can lead to better job prospects in the future. Additionally, starting early can help teenagers make more informed decisions about their education and career paths, leading to better long-term outcomes.

Ages 13-14:

Early adolescence is a critical stage in life since it's the period when the majority of children venture into their teenage years. At this stage, teenagers are still exploring the world and looking for their interests and talents. Enrolling in the Careers That Matter program at this time provides teenagers with a deep sense of awareness of their talents, strengths, and values, leading to increased confidence. The program provides a unique space for self-discovery, enabling teenagers to identify their passions and the types of roles that resonate with them, which sets a strong foundation for future career decisions.

Ages 15-16:

By this stage, teenagers are beginning to mature and develop a greater understanding of the world around them. With that understanding, comes a sense of self-discovery and clarity around career aspirations. Enrolling your teenager in the Careers That Matter program at this time helps them to channel their curiosity and ambition in a more concrete direction. The program helps teenagers to explore different career options and understand the types of jobs that align with them. It's also a great opportunity to develop interpersonal and communication skills, key assets in the workforce.

Ages 17-18:

During this developmental stage, teenagers start to prepare themselves for transitioning into higher education or the workforce. By enrolling in the Careers That Matter program, teenagers are given the opportunity to channel their interests into relevant career paths. They are then able to make informed decisions about further education and training or workforce opportunities that match their personality, potential, and ambitions. With an understanding of themselves and the types of career pathways they would like to pursue, teenagers feel more confident and empowered to take on the challenges and opportunities in their next chapter.

The Benefits to Teenagers of Having Career Clarity

Helps Explore Interests and Skills:

Career counselling sessions help teenagers explore their interests, skills, and strengths, which can be a good starting point for choosing a career. It provides a platform to discover one's abilities, motivations, and career goals, paving the way for a fulfilling and rewarding career. With the help of a career counsellor, teens can narrow down their options and make informed decisions.

Provides Clarity and Direction:

Having a structured career plan creates clarity and direction for teenagers. It can help them set realistic goals and evaluate their progress along the way. They can identify the required qualifications, skills, and experience needed for their desired career, making the transition from high school to college more manageable. A career plan can also provide guidance on choosing the right courses and extracurricular activities to align with their goals.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety:

Many young adults experience stress and anxiety when it comes to making career choices. By having a career plan, teenagers can reduce their stress and anxiety levels. Having a plan provides direction and can help alleviate fears of uncertainty and lack of control over their future. Career counselling sessions can also provide teenagers with the tools and knowledge to handle stress and anxiety in a healthy way.

Increases Successful Career Outcomes:

Career counselling and planning can lead to more successful career outcomes for teenagers in the long run. With a clear understanding of their interests, abilities, and career goals, teenagers can choose a career that aligns with their personal strengths and values. With a solid foundation, they can develop their skills, gain valuable experience, and grow professionally in their chosen career path.


In conclusion, there is no one “right” age to start career counselling. However, starting early can provide several benefits, including more time to explore different career options, build skills and experience, and make informed decisions about education and career paths. No matter what stage of career development you’re in, seeking the advice of a professional career counsellor can help you identify your strengths and interests, explore different career options, and prepare for the job search process. And remember, the most important thing you can do is to be open and curious about different career paths and be willing to take risks and try new things. Best of luck on your career exploration journey!

Careers That Matter

At Careers That Matter, we know that you want to be a supportive parent who helps your kid find a satisfying and secure job. To make this happen, you need an effective method to guide your teenager towards a career they'll love. The problem is, your teen is unsure about what they want to do, and regular career advice just doesn't seem to cut it. This makes you feel worried about their future.

We believe that every teenager has unique strengths and potential that, if properly guided, can lead them to a successful career. We know how tough it can be because we've felt the same frustration of trying to help teens figure out their futures with tools that don't work. That's why we've created a mentorship program that really works.

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Careers That Matter provides online programs to teenagers across the globe. The organisation is based in Melbourne Australia. We have students from across Australia including Sydney, NSW 2000, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Perth, WA 6000, Adelaide, SA 5000, Hobart, TAS 7000, Canberra, ACT 2600, Darwin, NT 0800. We also take students from The United Kingdom including London, Europe, and the United States including New York , Canada, New Zealand including Auckkland and Wellington, and Asia including Singapore and Malaysia.