My teenager needs some careers advice

What careers advice is available for my teenager to help them choose a career path?

There are literally thousands of opportunities out there for young people from apprenticeships, work experience and university to volunteering and internships. Careers advisers at Inspira help to empower teenagers to take charge of their futures and help them seek out fulfilling careers. We offer free careers advice to teenagers in Cumbria and North Lancashire.

Not all young people want or need a university education and for some people vocational training or getting a job may be the right choice. The important thing is to ensure that your teenager’s choices are well thought through and they gain a little experience along the way to see what types of jobs they will enjoy.

Our top 10 careers advice tips for teenagers

Here are our top tips for your teenager to help them figure out their next steps.

  1. Figure out your strengths and what you enjoy most

Working out what you are good at (and preferably enjoy) can help guide your career choices. For example, you might be good with numbers, enjoy writing, love meeting people, like fixing things, like caring for people or perhaps have a love of the outdoors. All these things can help define your career goals.

  1. Get some work experience

Gaining some work experience even just for a couple of weeks is a great way to get a feel for a work environment, the daily routine and challenges people face. It will certainly help you see whether you can see yourself working there in the long term and might even rule out something you thought you might like.

Virtual work experience - With the cancellation of many work placements and with social distancing still in place, some companies are now offering virtual work experience. You can search online for companies offering this. You’ll be able to take part in some real tasks whilst learning what it’s like to work in that sector. As a result, you’ll can gain some vital insights into the world of work and learn some core professional skills.

  1. Aim high - visualise your ideal job and find out how to get there

Find out more about the kinds of job that are out there and what kinds of job are in demand.

Our videos might give you some inspiration for your future options.

What it's like being a project manager

Training to become a CNI Designer

You could make a list of companies that you think you’d love to work for. Then have a look at their websites and see what sort of roles they have on offer. Firstly, check to see whether they have a careers page and any guidance on how to get a foot in the door. Then you can see what skills they’re asking for and make a plan to learn those skills.

You could also research what jobs will be in demand in the next 10 years. Issues like climate change and using clean energy for example are driving huge growth for jobs in sustainability.

  1. Use your network

Talking to a range of people can help you gain an understanding of what different careers entail. Find people who work in the sector you’re interested in and ask them to tell you what it’s really like. Then take a view as to whether this would suit you. You’ll probably get a more realistic impression from people in the early stages of their career than your parents and teachers.

This is all about using who you know to give you some advice.

Listen to Sophie who works in the nuclear industry

  1. Get a part-time job

Working in a part-time job gives you so much more than money. It will enhance your social skills, give you some commercial awareness, build your confidence and give you a sense of responsibility. If you’re working in a coffee shop for example, think about the skills you’re learning – the employability skills – rather than just the job itself. Think about trying different jobs to see what you like or more importantly don’t like.

  1. Do some charity work, volunteer or join a sports club

These activities bring so many benefits. Not only are you giving something back in terms of your time and expertise, you are learning new skills and meeting new people. Moreover, you’re showing that you’re proactive. These are all great traits that employers like to see.

Read how volunteering helped Maisy

  1. Don’t do something just because your friends are

It may be tempting to follow the crowd and stick with your friends after leaving school. It may be fun to begin with but won’t necessarily lead to what’s best for you in the long term. Do something because you want to, not because someone else is doing it.

  1. Improve your employability skills

Employability skills are the transferable skills needed to make you 'employable'. So even if you’re planning to carry on with your studies, it’s a good idea to work on these skills. For example, communication, problem-solving, negotiation, teamwork and using your initiative.

  1. Work out what your values are

Working out what is important to you and what motivates you can help in your decision making. These may include freedom, being your own boss, being the boss, working in a team, caring for people, caring for animals, sustainability, creativity etc. and they might help you in deciding on a career path.

  1. Get some free careers advice from Inspira

Our careers advisers at Inspira offer impartial, easy to understand careers advice to teenagers and adults. They are knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated to providing useful information and support; empowering you to take the next (or first) steps in your career.

We also run a number of different programmes and services which aim to help young people to choose the right career path.

Helping your child make career choices

It might seem hard as a parent to know what careers advice to give your child. However, you know them better than anyone so have the confidence that you can guide them to making good decisions.

Here are some practical ways you can help your son or daughter with their career decisions.

What you should do next

  • Spend some time browsing the content on our website to learn more about preparing for your new role
  • Read about how we’ve helped others in the same situation
  • Pick up the phone and talk to one of our careers advisers to see how they can help you 0345 658 8647
  • Contact us via our Facebook page
  • Fill out our form if you’d rather communicate by email and tell us a bit about your situation and if there’s something in particular you would like help with.