Working as a Career Coach, I have spent many years coaching Pre-Leaving Certificate students, who are searching for the ‘Perfect Course’ which will lead to the ‘Perfect Career’.
Thinking about possible career options and course choices begin when we are children. What do I want to do when I grow up? The greatest influences on children in the first instance are parents and guardians, then educators and peers. I am deliberately leaving out social media and the internet, as I wish to focus on the interaction between children and teenagers with the real people in their lives.
According to ESRI reports, mothers are the most influential people when it comes to guiding their teenagers to choose CAO and Post Leaving Certificate courses and careers.
“In sixth year, students regard their parents, particularly their mothers, as the most important source of advice in terms of their post-school plans” https://www.esri.ie/system/files/media/file-uploads/2015-07/BKMNEXT195.pdf
Many parents mention to me that they are not up to speed with all the opportunities open to their teenagers. These parents say that they are not tech savvy, they are not on social media, and they don’t know a lot about the new courses and the changing world of work.
So they send their sons and daughters to me. The leaving certificate student is preoccupied with exams, study, social media, peer pressure, popular colleges, cool courses and debs events. Many of them ‘can’t wait to get to college and live away from home’ or ‘do not want to leave home just yet’. This is completely understandable.
With all these going on, is it any wonder that leaving certificate students do not want to hear from a career coach? Some students will tell me that they thought I was going to make their college choices for them. Many do not engage with the process and the research work necessary in order to make good decisions. Their lives are so busy during this time; they feel they cannot take on any more. It has become apparent to me, that many parents are taking notes, and asking the questions during the career coaching session.
To this end, I am now providing a service for parents and guardians to meet with me to discuss the options available: The new courses and career options, the websites that should be visited regularly, the questions to ask and the essential research. If parents are the greatest influences, then it would be worthwhile to arm yourself with the information needed. Whether you use a process of osmosis, throughout their developmental years, or ongoing chats at home, you could be the best person to have those discussions with your teenager and support them as they make their own choices.
This service does not exclude the teenager from making their own course choices, and I will still work with students who wish to engage with career and education coaching. This service just gives parents an initial opportunity to inform themselves about the options available for their teenagers.
If you would like to find out about the Course and Career options in the modern world available to Leaving Certificate Students, please contact Angela at Career Coaching Matters.
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