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Getting your teen started in life planning
With your kids, come up with a list of things your student loves to do or study. Don’t edit as you brainstorm that defeats the purpose of brainstorming. The sky is the limit. The power and purpose of brainstorming is not to be practical; it’s to generate ideas.
Use a graphic organizer or a mind map, if that will be helpful to you. Get a big whiteboard and add to it over several days.
What are some great sources for brainstorming?
- What are your child’s favorite books, movies, and TV series? Many young kids are discovering interests based on T.V. shows. NCIS has generated an entire group of students fascinated by Forensic Science.
- What does your student do in their free time? My history loving, botany loving gardener, has been thinking about paleoethnobotany since our visit to Mt. Vernon.
- Youtube is an excellent source of recorded interviews of professionals explaining their careers and talking about how they got where they are at today. Check out our friend Alex Steele for inspiration on many levels.
- Research careers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Outlook Handbook. These websites allow you to look up specific job titles or find different jobs within a field and see how much education level, salary, career growth.
Do you have Career goals for your high-schooler?
- Take steps to help your high-schooler find a post-graduation plan: are they work, vo-tech or college/ university-bound, military, marriage, or entrepreneurs?
- Brainstorm and make a game of researching options
- Explore job -shadowing and volunteering. Kids may discover areas of interest they didn’t even know existed. They may also find that they dislike certain things. A friend of ours was totally sold on Forensic Science as a Career until they job shadowed at a Mortuary.
- Research Clubs, Activities, Camps in areas of interest to build skills and explore jobs.
- Think about Test Prep. Test scores can make or break scholarship and career opportunities.