Help your child make the right choice for their future

Mother and daughter look at a laptop together

The end of high school can be a difficult time for students who are trying to navigate their way into a career. As parents, your advice is important but it can be hard to know when to step back and let your child work things out for themselves.

Our top tips for helping your child make a career decision

1. Be supportive

Being supportive is the best way to help your child. Give them time to explore their options. You could set up a time for them to talk to someone you know who works in the industry they’re interested in, or you could offer to take them to a university open day. There’s a lot of pressure on young people about to finish school, so having the backing of their family is important.

2. Don't impose your opinions

You may have an idea of what you think would be best for your child, but some young people won't respond well to being told what to do. Discuss their hobbies and whether the skills they learn while doing them could be applied to training or a career. Show them Skills Builder, our online tool that analyses skills and makes suggestions for relevant courses and jobs.

3. Understand that things are changing

Where and how we work has changed dramatically over the years, with different technologies and skill demands. Your child may be considering a career in a field that didn't exist five years ago, making it harder for you to offer advice. Use our jobs or courses databases to find out more about the career or area of study your child is interested in.

4. Encourage them to get a part-time job

Taking on some part-time or voluntary work will help your child to understand how to fit into a workplace. They will also learn new skills that will help them get ahead, and make it easier to continue learning when they start a new job or course.

5. Direct them to some practical guidance

Careers New Zealand has a range of tools and databases to help young people work out what they want from their career.

Image credit