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A survey of 165,000 high school students found that only 45% of young people feel positive about their career readiness. In a high school setting, students usually have access to a guidance counselor who helps prepare them for their future career by guiding them in their educational choices post-graduation. This, therefore, is an important role to be filled by parents homeschooling their teens, and it’s as valuable as academic subjects and teaching valuable life skills. Here’s how you can include career development in your homeschooling plan to give your teen the confidence and direction they need going forward.
Find Volunteer Work
Nothing helps a young person to think about the kind of career they might want as well as trying out the options. Discuss your child’s interests with them and explore the jobs available that align with those interests. An animal lover might try volunteering at an animal shelter or zoo, while someone who’s interested in a career in healthcare could volunteer at a hospital or nursing home. No voluntary position is a lifelong commitment, so if it turns out not to suit your teen, it’s a good way of them finding out early on before they commit to higher education choices. Employers also look favorably on voluntary experience, and everything your teen does now will enhance their career prospects.
Introduce your high schooler to the world of work by applying for voluntary positions as they would a paid job. This is the ideal opportunity to discuss the importance of a well-crafted resume and teach the fundamentals of writing a CV to grab an employer’s attention. A resume must be concise yet rich with relevant detail, and writing one well could make the difference in getting called to an interview. Encourage your teen to use the opportunity of applying for voluntary positions to test-drive their resume, and get them to continue honing it over time.
Look Into Internships
When you’re homeschooling, you have more flexibility than you do in a traditional educational setting. This puts your child in a good position to land an internship. These are opportunities offered by employers, which allow students to gain experience in a career they may be interested in. Again, it allows your teen to try out a career field before they make serious decisions about further education.
Some internships are even paid, allowing your child to make money at the same time. An internship gives your teen another opportunity to test-drive their resume, and they may even be able to get helpful feedback on it from their employer. Explore internships online with your child, or reach out to local employers. Try to let your child lead the search and apply independently, as job searches and applications are an important part of their career development education.
Try Career Assessments
An issue guidance counselors come across time and time again is that students don’t always know what they want. While a voluntary position can be a good move even when they’re not sure what they want to do, an important part of career development is learning to decide what will suit you. This is where a career assessment can be useful. There are many free assessments and aptitude tests available online, and these can spark ideas about the sorts of careers that might interest them. They can also reveal hidden talents your teen may not have realized they had, and at the very least, it gets them thinking about the future in a constructive way.
Career development is an important part of a high school education, and incorporating it into your homeschooling plan can give your teens the skills and confidence they need in the future. Encourage your teen to lead the search for opportunities, and help them to craft a winning application package. After all, nothing helps career readiness as much as practice does.
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