Everyone has heard about the importance of career planning for students. In particular, it’s critical to begin planning farther in advance than you would probably believe. Although some parents would like to begin planning when a child is in kindergarten, that might be a little extreme. Would you believe that the best time to begin student career planning is five years in advance? At Identifor, we believe that the perfect time for career planning for students is five years ahead of time. In this article, we’ll go over career guidance for students, careers advice for students, and cover a career exploration tool to help you and your student prepare for college.
Importance of Career Planning for Students
At Identifor, we believe that any career planning for students should begin with an assessment of a student’s strengths. Think about what your student does best, and how those strengths can be applied to a career or career path. A strength-based approach in career planning for students can inform the choices a student makes when choosing a career path. By the way, if you or your young adult still don’t know what his or her strength is, you may want to use Identifor’s games to help figure that out. It’s an easy and fun way to highlight the skills your teenage student may have. Not only that, but you can sign up for free. You may also want to discover what “soft skills” and adaptive behaviors that young person will need for that career. Working backwards, the child’s school team and family can assure they work on the building blocks to help them ultimately reach the endpoint before graduation so they are fully prepared.
Student Career Planning
Many kids can tell you what they would like to do for a career, but that doesn’t mean that what they’d like to do is necessarily a reflection of their actual skills. That’s why career planning for students ahead of time is so important: if a student can begin to explore the opportunities that they may actually encounter, they will have more realistic expectations. That’s not to say they should settle for a job that they don’t enjoy. A student may not realize what his or her own strengths are, so focusing on the careers that use those strengths can help them follow the right path. And that first job may be a stepping stone to the right career path. Identifor’s dashboard lists specific suggested careers that make sense for the user to explore further. And any suggested careers are directly linked to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Onet website which gives a granular view of what the job entails: skills and abilities needed, etc. The Onet website also shows which careers have a “bright outlook” and which are dead-end jobs.
Career Guidance for Students
Career guidance for students can, of course, come from career counselors. There are plenty of other people that may also help with career planning for students. Teachers, principals, friends, parents, grandparents, and others can all help narrow the choices. Once the young adult has some ideas, then they may want to test their choice or choices by taking internships, going to summer camps, or volunteering for short stints so that they can see what their options are, and understand what the daily activities of their choice might entail. Sometimes young adults romanticize a career and seeing the daily chores they might have to do could open their eyes and change their direction. By allowing enough time to change direction, the career planning for students process is really worth the investment.
Career Advice for Students
Just as with career guidance, career advice for students can come from a variety of sources. In fact, students may not realize the types of careers that are available. There are many new career paths available, so it’s critical to have career advice from someone who’s up on the latest types of careers. They may have heard about stereotypical careers, but not about unusual career choices. For instance, autistic teens may have heard about careers in computer programming, but might not realize that they could also pursue their dream of becoming a graphic designer or working behind-the-scenes in Hollywood. And there are many careers that did not exist until recently, such as data scientists. Hence beginning the career planning for students process with plenty of time will allow you and your young adult the luxury to fully explore all the options.
Career Exploration Tool
Did you know there’s a tool to help your teenager explore possible career choices? The Holland Occupational Themes is a theory of personality that focuses on career and vocational choice. There are six different categories of occupations, based on your suitability for the occupations. These six types sum up the RIASEC acronym (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. RIASEC is also known as John Holland’s Six Types of Personality. John L. Holland developed the RIASEC theory during the 1950s. Be sure to investigate these six types of occupations during your career planning for students.
It may seem like a lot, but you definitely don’t need to implement all these tips. Just read them over and see which ones fit you and your lifestyle. Above all, remember that caring for yourself is the most important. Having an organized life on the outside means nothing if you are not happy with yourself and your life.
The Right Attitude for Staying Organized
Be motivated. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you are motivated to tackle the mess in your life. Otherwise, when the going gets tough, you will get sloppy. My advice is to make a list – yes, with real pen and paper – of why you want a clean, organized, and manageable life. Tack it up somewhere where you will see it when you start to feel unmotivated.
Have a pencil case. That way you can keep all of your pencils, pens, etc. in the pencil case. You’ll know where they are, and you won’t have to look for that one pencil. The case can get quite messy, so you should throw away broken pencils and everything you don’t need, also make sure you use these back to school labels.
Using Planning to Stay Organized in College
Keep a planner, or a planner app. During the school year, I use my planner religiously to track my classes, assignments, and social plans.
Use only one planner. Just as important as using a planner is only keeping one. If you have both a paper planner and an app, or multiple planners, the odds are that something will eventually slip between the cracks when you forget to write down your plans in both. Also, having more than one will take up a lot of your time.
Keep it with you. During the school year, I always have my planner on-hand. That way, if I get a new assignment, make plans with friends, or have to schedule a doctor’s appointment, I can write it down immediately before I forget.
Plan at the beginning of every week or month. At the beginning of every new week, sit down and write in your activities, classes, and any reminders (call Mom!) for the coming days. I don’t have the time to do this all at once at the beginning of my semester, so doing it on a weekly basis works for me.
Use the days-before-it’s-due system. I learned this trick over at Organize My College Life. In your planner, use red pen to mark the day an assignment is due. Write it out in blue pen in the two days ahead; black for three to five days ahead; and green for six to nine days ahead. That way, you will always see assignments coming up on the horizon, and won’t ever be surprised by an essay that’s due tomorrow.
Hopefully, you and your young teenager have a few ideas about the importance of starting career planning for students at least five years in advance. Once you have a clear direction, this information can be used in the goals and objectives of the transition part of IEP or career plan. Although that idea might seem daunting, the results will be well worth it in the end.