Thank you for your interest in your son/daughters career path, you are a key influencer and we would like to provide you with some tools and ideas to assist you in the process.
The truth is, you can help. Research continues to demonstrate that family, parents and guardians significantly play a role in influencing the development of the child’s career including occupational aspirations and an overall insight into the world of work.
Career is very much a lifelong process commencing in childhood and students go through the stages of career development at various paces. It is also becoming well known that almost everyone will change their career multiple times in their lifetime.
Exploring possibilities is all about the self assessment phase of career planning; talking to your son/daughter about what they feel they do well, not so well and even what they might like to do. This undertaking will allow students to analyse themselves in relation to their skills, knowledge, attributes and motivations and is a valuable component of career planning as it challenges students to take a look in their past, present and future to determine a focus.
To start, think about your personal career experiences and the way in which you arrived where you are today. Have you always worked in one occupation? What are your interests? How did you know you made the right decision? Looking back, you may be interested to know that your journey may also be of value to your son/daughter and the way in which you made decisions.
What am I interested in?
- Talk to your son / daughter about their interests and what they are curious about, probe them about WHY?
- Interests can be anything from past times, hobbies, recreational pursuits or extracurricular activities.
- Are any of these interests something your son / daughter excels in and could it be incorporated into their working life?
- Encourage them to share their hopes and visions for the future
- What are their ideas about study and work paths?
- What is important to them?
What am I good at?
- Encourage your son/daughter to identify their strengths , attributes and skills
- Affirm your son/daughter’s skills and abilities if you know they are pertinent and consistently demonstrated.
- Does your son / daughter have a special talent that could lead to an occupation and would he /she be interested in that occupation?
Discuss the type of work environment in which your son / daughter would best contribute in. For example, do they prefer a structured or more flexible work environment?
What do I want in a study and / or employment path?
- Talk about the course your son / daughter is excited about undertaking or if they have commenced, how they are enjoying their subjects.
- Explore the types of occupations your son / daughter is interested in and why?
- What do they specifically want in a position? How best will they contribute?
- Do you as parents know of someone who is in this field? If yes undertake the method of information interviewing together. Ask them about the role: How did they get there, what do they like about the role, what are the challenges they face, what would they do differently?
- Start undertaking some job shopping together to identify what may be of interest either now or in the future. Have a look at:
- www.myfuture.edu.au and go to “The facts.”
- www.seek.com.au to research positions
- Suggest your child to commence a collage activity where they cut images from media and magazines of professions that appeal to them.
- If your student is considering taking a major where you feel there may not be much employment opportunity – don’t worry! They may be excellent choices if they are suitable match for your son / daughter’s skills and interests.
- What do I want less of?
- Has your son/daughter undertaken work experience in school? Talk about how they felt about it. If it wasn’t a positive experience, learning about what they don’t want to do is just as valuable as learning about what they like doing.
- When identifying these aspects encourage your son/daughter to talk about why, and prompt them to be specific!
- Have there been any other experiences for example, extra-curricular activities where students were able to identify ‘what not to do’?
To do list suggestions for parents
- Encourage exploring new areas of study and interests – this is what learning is about, after all! This may also mean students switching majors or even degrees in their first few semester as they discover what they would like to do.
- Emphasise developing a portfolio of evidence for future prospects. This may include:
- Encouraging involvement in the many extracurricular activities that Bond has on offer. This is a great way to increase your son’s / daughter’s network in a comfortable social atmosphere, not discounting the fact that Bond is a well connected university. Many other Bond parents provide advice, work experience and jobs to their son/daughter’s fellow friends.
- Heavily promote your son/daughter to undertake work experience and / or internships. This will not only enhance your son/daughter’s employment prospects; it is very much a two-way street with win win’s all around. It is an excellent way to try the job from the inside out and if students find it’s not for them, at the very least they will have had an opportunity to network and start a base of contacts to potentially call upon. The resounding message from Australian and international employers is that without some work experience whilst at university, graduate options become narrower.
- Consider and keep a look out for any careers events that the career development centre is hosting and urge your son/daughter to become engaged in these events which, for example, will provide an opportunity to network with employers as well learn how to prepare for graduate season.
- Lastly, recommend your son / daughter to see us as soon as possible. It is very customary, especially at Bond with the fast-tracked degree programs for students to be so wholly and solely focussed on their studies that contact is not established with the career development centre until late in the degree. If we are able to establish contact early we would be able to develop and further refine an employment strategy to maximise the student’s graduate opportunities. There is a wealth of resources available for students at the career development centre, encourage your son /daughter to make use of them!
See below for further resources that may be of use for both parents and students