I don't know what jobs are out there

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Continuing our Q & A series – answering questions from parents about their children's work and learning choices.

Hi Careers New Zealand

My daughter is in her final year of school and is really stuck for ideas on what she wants to do once she leaves. I hear my friends talking about their kids getting into lots of interesting courses and jobs, but I have no idea how to help my daughter explore these jobs of the future. Can you provide tips on where to start?

On a job mission

Hi On a job mission

Thank you for asking this question, because many parents call us to ask something similar. It’s true that the scope of courses and jobs has grown rapidly due to technological advances and new innovation. Here’s our suggested plan of action for your daughter to get some ideas to kick-start her career journey.  

Young people need to know themselves

To help set a career path, it’s a good idea for young people to start thinking about their interests – exploring what they like doing helps them find the motivation to continue their research. Perhaps your daughter is a budding vlogger or amateur chef – interests give young people a hook to direct their study and job search. It’s also good for young people to look at what they don’t enjoy so they can start ruling out certain courses and jobs.

One of the best tools for a young person to use is our CareerQuest quiz. It will match their interests to more than 400 jobs on our website, giving them some avenues to explore.

The importance of values

Sometimes thinking about values is also quite powerful. If young people ask themselves how they like to work, what hours they want to do, what level of job security they want, what style of work environment they want, and the variety and challenges they want to be exposed to, this can provide direction to their search.  

Get the lowdown on jobs

After you and your daughter have explored all the above topics, you are likely to have a list of jobs you can look up on our job profiles. For each job you can find out about the chances of getting work, the pay, how to enter the job, the skills and knowledge you’ll need and more.

Sometimes people have a portfolio career where they do multiple jobs to make a living. This can be by choice so they get great variety, because they can work in many complementary jobs, or because the person can’t work in their chosen field at that time in their life and have instead made it a longer-term goal.  

Sometimes people create jobs (entrepreneurs) and sometimes employers with vision create jobs for employees.

Talk to people in your community about jobs

We suggest to young people that they ask people in the community what it’s really like working in a particular job. Young people can try contacting: 

  • Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) – to find out more about the industry and roles
  • People, businesses and organisations involved in different types of work. Young people can talk to them about getting work experience as it can be a great way to find out what jobs are actually like. It also helps to identify related jobs.  

Parent with a question?

If you have your own questions you want to ask, you can web chat, call or email us. We’d love to hear from you. 

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The Careers New Zealand team