Helping Others Make Career Decisions

Making a career decision is hard.  If you’re a parent, a family member or the significant other of someone who needs help deciding on their future career, you know it can be tough. Here’s how you can help:

Help them make the decision

Remember that you can’t make the decision for them. We may think we know what's best, and want to give advice; however, this is often based on our own desires and experiences and not what’s truly best for the career-seeker. Here’s what you can do instead:

  • Remind them of their talents, skills and the things they enjoy doing, and get them to consider occupations that could align with those characteristics.
  • Use career exploration tools like CareerInGear. These tools help users understand themselves, explore career options, and find an education or training path that best suits them.

Encourage the career-seeker

When a career-seeker is exploring occupational options, there are three simple things you can encourage them to do:

  1. Read about the occupation, the education requirements, the training path, and what the future outlook might be.
  2. Talk to someone who’s working in the area they’re interested in. Learn about that person’s career story, what they like about their work, and what it takes to get into that type of job.
  3. Try it on by volunteering, job shadowing, getting a part-time job, or taking a Continuing Education course to see if they like learning the skills necessary for their potential career choice.

Help develop career-building skills

Employers want employees who can quickly upskill and adjust to new technology and processes. They also want workers who communicate well, are team players, have positive attitudes, and have a good work ethic. Help the career-seeker uncover their employability skills:

  • Determine what skills are necessary for the career options being uncovered.
  • Focus on important building blocks such as math, reading, and document use.
  • Remind your career-seeker that these skills can be developed and practiced through experiences.
    • Participate in extracurricular activities (sports, clubs and associations)
    • Volunteer in the community

Don't think you're alone

There are many community resources and services that can help your career-seeker plan their future. As well, Career Development Specialists are available at each NSCC campus and can help sort through the labour market information, identify and provide tools to help with career decision-making, and work with your career-seeker to develop a personalized career action plan.

Contact Student Services at your local campus to speak to an advisor about navigating their life and work future.

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