When teenagers investigate possible careers, it is important that they have reliable information and consider their interests, talents and values.
A teenager’s personality and interests will make him more suited to some careers than others. A teenager who loves sport and outdoor activities may hate a career in medical research while another student may adore this. A teenager who is fascinated with cooking and food science may hate working as an accountant or a lawyer but thrive in the hospitality industry.
Some big questions teenagers should consider…
- What am I good at?
- What are my best skills and qualities?
- Would this career make me happy?
- Could this career give me a feeling of achievement, satisfaction, reward, excitement and challenge?
- Do I really know what this career involves?
Questions about personality…
- Am I happier in familiar or unpredictable situations?
- Do I enjoy change, excitement and challenge or do I prefer order and routine?
- Do I like meeting and interacting with lots of new people or am I a little shy?
- Do I enjoy problem-solving or do I prefer knowing what is expected every day?
- Do I love being a leader or do I prefer to have tasks organised for me?
- Do I want a career where I have a lot of control over people and situations?
- Do I like situations where I feel secure and safe in what is expected from me or do I enjoy risk-taking?
Questions about interests…
- Which careers interest people who love science and mathematics? Engineering? Pharmacy? Meteorology? Agricultural science? Zoology?
- Which careers appeal to people who are creative and artistic? Fashion Designer? Web Site Developer? Industrial Designer?
Questions about values…
- I want to help people and make a difference to their lives. Which careers offer this opportunity? Social Worker? Youth Worker? Teacher? Nurse? Counsellor? Lawyer?
- I love animals and want to protect endangered species. Which careers offer me the opportunity to help animals? Vet? Marine Biologist? Park Ranger?
- Financial Security is important to me. Which careers offer great earning potential? I also want to work in the business world… Financial advisor? Actuary? (Students who do what they love have a higher chance of doing well in that career both personally and financially.)
- I love researching an issue and finding evidence to present a class talk or a debate. Journalism? Law? Police Force? Politics?
- I am fascinated with human behaviour and want to learn more about why people do the things they do. Psychologist? Criminologist? Anthropologist? Sociologist?
- I love seeing how things work and fixing things. Engineering? Plumbing? Building? Medicine? Electrician?
- Investigating possible careers should be exciting, not stressful.
- There are often many careers that could suit a particular teenager.
- Teenagers often change their minds many times and this is fine.
- Some young people complete an undergraduate degree and then radically change career direction by adding on some post-graduate studies. Students need to know that there are many ways to find a career they will enjoy.
- In addition to using careers websites and thinking of their unique talents and values, students should take every opportunity to actively speak to people about their careers.