Career planning for teens in the time of Covid
February 16, 2021
Our teens need support to determine a career path during the pandemic.
by Nagham Najjar
This post is the first in a series on how parents can help teens with career planning.
Covid-19 has changed the way we live, work, and learn. Schools and classes are going online. Working from home is increasing rapidly. Workshops, seminars, conferences, meetings, etc. are all going online. In the future, many businesses may continue to work remotely after the pandemic is over because we now know it is possible. Companies may stop paying for its staff to travel for a meeting or conference. There is likely to be fewer business trips in the future.
As a result of the changing realities of work, career planning has become even more difficult than it normally is. As parents, we can help guide our children to the right career path so they can find a satisfactory career that fits with their abilities and the needs of the emerging new labour market. (Editor's Note: This local Workforce Planning Board report looks at how the pandemic affected work for youth in the first six months.)
As a parent, I need to be spending more time supporting, understanding, and serving the needs of my child who is searching for his identity through secondary studies and then through his career path. This cannot be achieved unless I have the sufficient knowledge about the labor market in my region.
The labor market is similar to any market, the automobile market for example. There is a demand and a supply. In the labor market,the demand is from employers for skills to accomplish work and the supply is people who have the skills to do that work. Labor Market Information (LMI) is where a person can find anything he is searching for in the market such as knowing the demographics, wages, occupations, etc.
Knowing the labour market in my region will answer my child’s questions and give me better ideas about what job opportunities are available in my area, what is growing and what is declining, as a parent. Also, it will give me insight into what careers offer the best prospect for my children. Moreover, and especially in this critical time, labour market information will enhance knowledge about the current and future demand for job skills that my children need to have or to acquire in order to fill in the gaps in the workplace. This will lead to better knowledge of the characteristics of jobs including wages, benefits and conditions.
Our children are on the edge of adulthood. They are at the age where their decisions and choices will shape the path of their life for the coming years. It is the time when they will start exploring new experiences and opportunities, challenges, successes and failures. Our teenager is still enjoying and learning from all the experiences and opportunities presented to them but there are other times where they face challenges and feel lost and need some advice and mentoring.
Can you imagine facing these challenges in addition to the hormone changes they are facing? It is too heavy to be met alone and they start searching for someone who can understand their feelings, thoughts and anxiety. That presents us the opportunity as parents to step up and help with their search. Our youth need our support and guidance.
Nagham Najjar lives in Kitchener with her husband and her two boys aged six and nine. She has a Bachelor in Business Administration and anticipates receiving her Career Development Professional Graduate Certificate. She has six years experience as a School College Counsellor working with students between 15 and 18 years old regarding their academic achievements and career path.
Settlement. (2016). What is Labour market Information? Retrieved from: https://settlement.org/ontario/employment/find-a-job/labour-market-information/what-is-labour-market-information-do-i-need-it/
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