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Fifty Pieces of Career Advice I Wish I Received as a Teen

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woman handing a man a peice of paper with careeer advice written on it

Reflecting on our own experiences, many of us wish we had received better guidance during our teenage years when it comes to career choices. Here is what I wish someone sat down and told me when I was a teenager.

  1. Embrace change and be ready to adapt to new situations and opportunities that come your way in your career journey, as things can change quickly.
  2. Keep learning and improving your skills throughout your life to stay up-to-date and be prepared for the ever-evolving job market.
  3. Connect with different people who can guide and support you, like mentors (experienced advisors) and peers (friends on a similar path), as they can provide valuable advice and connections.
  4. Find and pursue activities and jobs that you truly enjoy and are passionate about, as it's important to love what you do.
  5. Don't be afraid to take calculated risks and step out of your comfort zone, as that's where exciting opportunities and personal growth often happen.
  6. Remember that failure is a normal part of the learning process and can lead to valuable lessons and success in the long run.
  7. Believe in your ability to learn and grow, and keep an open mind to new ideas and experiences that can help you develop and reach your goals.
  8. Take charge of your own career by setting clear objectives and creating a plan for what you want to achieve.
  9. Communication skills, like expressing yourself clearly and listening attentively, are important for building positive relationships and succeeding in your professional life.
  10. Be proactive in seeking out and seizing opportunities that align with your goals and aspirations, rather than waiting for things to come to you.
  11. Build resilience to bounce back from challenges and setbacks, knowing that it's normal to face obstacles along the way.
  12. Seek feedback from others and be open to constructive criticism, as it can help you improve and grow.
  13. Develop your personal brand by showcasing your unique qualities and strengths, like your talents, skills, and values.
  14. Connect with a variety of people in your field of interest, both online and offline, to build a strong network of professional relationships.
  15. Remember to take care of yourself and find a healthy balance between work and personal life, as self-care is important for your well-being.
  16. Stay curious and never stop learning, asking questions, and exploring new subjects that interest you.
  17. Find mentors who inspire you and can offer guidance based on their own experiences and knowledge.
  18. Take on leadership roles, whether in school projects or extracurricular activities, to develop valuable skills like teamwork and problem-solving.
  19. Understand that the people you know and build relationships with can play a big role in your career journey, so treat everyone with respect and kindness.
  20. Stay adaptable to changes in technology and be open to learning new tools and skills to keep up with the evolving job market.
  21. Explore different career paths and consider unconventional options that align with your interests and passions.
  22. Learn about managing your finances wisely, like saving money and making informed decisions about spending and investing.
  23. Embrace diversity and treat everyone with fairness and inclusivity, appreciating the differences in people's backgrounds and perspectives.
  24. Take control of your online presence by being mindful of what you share and how you present yourself on social media platforms.
  25. Cultivate a positive and proactive mindset, focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
  26. Stay focused and committed to your long-term goals, and take consistent action towards achieving them.
  27. Develop problem-solving skills by thinking creatively and finding effective solutions to challenges that arise.
  28. Learn to navigate social media platforms responsibly and use them to connect with others professionally and share your achievements.
  29. Seek out opportunities for hands-on learning, like internships or part-time jobs, to gain practical experience in your field of interest.
  30. Embrace an entrepreneurial mindset by thinking creatively, taking initiative, and seeking out opportunities to create your own ventures.
  31. Recognize the importance of teamwork and collaboration, as working well with others is essential in many careers.
  32. Be adaptable to changes in industries and job markets, being willing to learn new skills and pivot your career path if needed.
  33. Find mentors who can provide guidance and support in areas specific to your interests and goals.
  34. Engage in self-reflection to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth, and actively work on improving yourself.
  35. Keep building your network by meeting new people and nurturing existing connections, as relationships are valuable throughout your career.
  36. Develop good work habits and time management skills to help you stay organized and productive in your tasks.
  37. Stay updated on industry trends and developments through reading, research, and staying connected with professionals in your field.
  38. Use storytelling techniques to effectively communicate your experiences, skills, and achievements to others.
  39. Embrace a global perspective by learning about different cultures and seeking diverse experiences, which can broaden your understanding and opportunities.
  40. Develop self-awareness and be true to yourself, knowing your values and passions, as they will guide you in making career decisions.
  41. Prioritize gaining practical skills and experience through internships and volunteering, as they can boost your resume and give you a taste of real-world work.
  42. Value and protect your reputation by acting with integrity, being reliable, and treating others with respect.
  43. Find meaning and purpose in your work by understanding how it aligns with your values and contributes to something bigger than yourself.
  44. Manage your time effectively to balance your responsibilities and create space for both work and personal pursuits.
  45. Cultivate a love for learning and embrace a lifelong curiosity, seeking knowledge and staying curious about the world around you.
  46. Understand the power of personal branding and how it can help you stand out and showcase your unique qualities in the job market.
  47. Take responsibility for your professional development by seeking out learning opportunities and actively working on improving your skills.
  48. Seek mentors who can offer guidance and support in specific areas of interest, as they can provide valuable insights and advice.
  49. Embrace the idea that change is constant, and be willing to adapt and innovate in response to new challenges and opportunities.
  50. Believe in yourself and your abilities, knowing that you have the power to create your own success by taking action and pursuing your goals.

As parents, we all want what's best for our teenagers, especially when it comes to their future careers. However, navigating the complexities of career choices can be overwhelming for both parents and teens. But fear not! With the right guidance and support, you can play a vital role in helping your teenager make informed decisions and unleash their true potential. 

Ten Ways To Support Your Teen's Career Exploration

1. Discover their Interests and Passions:

  • Engage in open and non-judgmental conversations with your teenager about their interests, hobbies, and dreams.
  • Encourage them to explore different subjects and activities to help them uncover their passions.

2. Promote Self-Exploration and Self-Awareness:

  • Guide your teenager in understanding their strengths, values, and unique qualities.
  • Encourage self-reflection through journaling or creating vision boards to help them envision their ideal career paths.

3. Expose them to a World of Opportunities:

  • Introduce your teenager to a wide range of career options through workplace visits, guest speakers, or virtual career fairs.
  • Share stories of diverse professionals to inspire them and broaden their horizons.

4. Encourage Real-World Experiences:

  • Support your teenager in seeking internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities aligned with their interests.
  • These experiences offer valuable insights, skills, and networking opportunities.

5. Facilitate Networking Opportunities:

  • Help your teenager establish connections with professionals in their fields of interest.
  • Encourage them to attend industry events, join relevant online communities, and participate in mentorship programs.

6. Embrace a Growth Mindset:

  • Motivate your teenager to embrace challenges, learn from failures, and persevere in the face of setbacks.
  • Teach them that their abilities can be developed through effort and dedication.

7. Promote Lifelong Learning:

  • Inspire your teenager to continue learning beyond formal education.
  • Highlight the significance of acquiring new skills and staying updated with industry trends.

8. Sign Them Up For Career Counselling:

  •  Careers That Matter run online mentorship programs for teens globally who are unsure about their career direction after high school. 
  • Teach them to weigh the pros and cons, consider their values and long-term goals, and make informed choices.

9. Foster Resilience and Adaptability:

  • Remind your teenager that setbacks are a natural part of the journey and should be seen as opportunities for growth.
  • Encourage them to adapt to changing circumstances and be open to exploring new paths.

10. Be a Supportive Presence:

  • Offer emotional support and a safe space for your teenager to express their concerns, fears, and aspirations.
  • Validate their feelings and provide encouragement during challenging times.

As parents, we hold a remarkable responsibility in guiding our teenagers along their career paths. By understanding their interests, promoting self-exploration, and exposing them to various career options, we empower them to make informed decisions and pursue their passions. Encouraging resilience, embracing a growth mindset, and fostering a love for lifelong learning equip them with the tools they need to navigate the ever-evolving world of work. 

Careers That Matter

What is at stake:  

  1. Are you worried about your teenager wasting years at university studying something that they are not fully engaged by and will later realise was the wrong choice? 
  2. Or worried about them not being able to establish a solid career they can fully commit to? 
  3. Or even them failing to launch into adulthood? 
  4. Does your teenager dabble in many things but not stick with anything? Do they have a vague idea of what they want but no practical plan to achieve it? 

How we can help:  

Teens who complete our program:

  1. Start focusing with renewed energy on what they need to do to make their career vision happen; including prioritising their studies.
  2. Can make clear choices regarding school subjects, post-high school education, first jobs, gap years and other activities
  3. And by finding a career where their natural talents are highly valued, they flourish and grow into fulfilled adults with meaningful and successful careers. 

What we do: 

  1. We help your teen clarify their unique strengths, values and personality, and help them match them with jobs of the future.
  2. We help them create a vision of their future career and map out clear steps they need to take to make it happen.
  3. We don’t leave them there; for the next ten years, we support them to adapt their plan as they and the world around them evolve.

 

More Resources

Keep Reading 

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12 Unique Career Choice Challenges Faced by Today's Teenagers

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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.