Help younger teenagers choose their career

by | Jun 29, 2023 | Teen support

As summer comes, your teenagers are out of school for a long-needed rest. Thoughts of career choice may also be stuffed into the wardrobes along with the empty school bags. But the summer months are the perfect time for teenagers to think of their futures.

Here are 7 tips to help teenagers to choose their career:

Picture of blue sky and clouds to support blue key thinking to help teenagers choose their career

Image by Ashish Bogawat from

  1. Blue sky thinking

I know it’s such a cliché but that’s exactly where your teenagers can start. Send them off to the park or river bank on a warm sunny day and get them to lie on the grass staring at the sky as the clouds pass by. Get them to think of their future selves, max 10 years from now. What are their dreams for then? No judgement, just dream and let the thoughts float by but somehow capture them to think about later.

  1. Sort through the thoughts

What thoughts are worthwhile? Which of those dreams could actually be brought to fruition? Don’t discard any as being nonsense, explore all of them somewhat until they know its not of any use. It may be useful if they buy a notebook to use solely for this entire project.

  1. How does your teen like to work?

Are they practical or more academic? Do they like working indoors or outside? Would they thrive in an active job or maybe client facing? Encourage them to think of all the ways they like to learn and work.

  1. Career and Job titles

Talk to friends and family about different jobs or careers. Did you know that teenagers may not understand the work of a particular job title? Do they know what an Operations Manager is or a Data Analyst? Help them discover more modern careers that may not be obvious to them and the pathways to those careers.

  1. Career Pathways

We are very focused on sending our youth to college but there are other ways to get where we want to go using a different way of learning. Look up the apprenticeship website to see the amazing range that is now available. Apprentices can now get a Level 8 Honours degree through the apprenticeship route. They earn while they learn and graduate with 4 years direct work experience along with a degree. And no college debt!

  1. But which career?

Notice how we haven’t discussed specific careers yet? It’s too soon! Career selection is a process, best spent many months or more, dreaming, thinking, researching and starting the whole process over again. And maybe again.

  1. More research??!

As your teen is refining their thoughts and ambitions, one final step is crucial – more research! This time, looking at the course content and further progression of each course. These are shown on any or the course hubs: Fetch, Qualifax, Careers Portal or apprenticeships. Ensure that your teen is happy to study all or most of the subjects taught. If there is too much maths, it may not be a good fit, or essays may be a complete turn off.

This is why the summer is a perfect time to start the process, especially between 5th and 6th year before the heavy lifting and pressure of the exam year kicks in. But younger teenagers can also start. They will have the freedom to take time out, on their own to mull over their futures and get that research going.

All we need now are the blue skies of summer to remain with us!

Image of Helen Dillon Careers Coach for Teenagers

If you would like to learn more about me, you can do so here.

I run programmes for teenagers to help them choose their career – learn more.

I also run course for parents to help them support their teenagers – learn more here.



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