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What parents should know about career planning

March 11, 2021

Parents need to learn about the labour market and career opportunities. Be open to asking professionals for assistance.

by Nagham Najjar

This is the third in a series on how parents can help teens with career planning.

Through the previous two posts, I mentioned that being a parent for a teen searching for their career path can be so stressful and challenging. The decision of choosing what to study and how much time it will take is considered one of the decisions that will have an impact on a person’s lifetime.

Many parents and children are not aware of the potential economic consequences of their educational choices if they were not chosen wisely. To overcome some of these challenges, a parent should know the labor market information and statistics about the work trends for today and the future. Also, a parent should know what changes are occurring to the labor market in the area so they can have the big picture of what jobs and skills employers are looking for, which industries are hiring, what education and training is needed for specific occupations, salaries and wages, so they can aid their child with career planning.

Labour market information consists of four main elements. Firstly, the demand, which is the number of jobs available in the market. Second, the supply which is the number of people who are willing to join the market and be a member of the workforce which is considered the third element and finally, unemployment which occurs when there are more people who are willing to work than jobs offered in the market or it can be a result of lacking skills required by an employer. In addition to that, parents should take into consideration the unemployment rate and the availability of many occupations.

Parents can refer to Canadian resources to get the key information on the economy and the market in their regions to guide their children wisely and make informed decisions about the field of study, interest satisfaction, and earnings expectations.

As a parent who is equipped with the full knowledge about the market and its needs, it is the time now to set goals with your children. Setting goals can help your children plan for success. Firstly, aid your children to determine what is important for them and what they really want in their lives. Then, guide your children to determine their short term goals and set tasks to achieve this goal such as raising the grades of a specific subject that is considered a requirement for a specific academic program.

As a parent, remember to reward your children for every step they take in their plan and encourage them to try new things for more experience and exploration. Finally, we, as parents, need to be partners with our children in the career planning journey and work as a team to support your children in their choices and in their mistakes.

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.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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