Work experience during your academic years…

Most of us spend minimum 10 years and up to 20 years in school, whether it be in primary, secondary and / or third level education striving to achieve an education and a qualification that will secure us a job / career that we will like and that will pay us a salary to meet our desired future lifestyle.

As we begin our education, we have no idea why we are doing it, where it will lead us to, where it will take us to and what will be the outcome / reward at the end in the areas of a job / career. As we progress, we realise that the reward is to get a job, build a career, become self-sufficient and pay our way.

Some people begin to pay their way when their third level education is completed, while others start working as soon as they are legally able to i.e. @ 16 years young, whether it be in their parents / guardians family business or through someone they know.

Work experience during your academic years can be such a rewarding experience. Never mind the ‘paying your way’ mentality, which is really only a by-product; the true benefit is the opportunity for you to grow, meet all types of people, do all kinds of work tasks and get an idea of what you’re good at, what your skills / competencies are and decide on a job / career future before your academic years are complete.

In the years that you have no major examinations, force yourself to search for and secure a job at w/e’s, during mid-term breaks and of course in summertime; a job that you like, that will challenge you and that you will learn from.

Some of these jobs might not deliver all of these; however you are at the very least making some money, meeting new people and not wasting all of your precious time watching other people doing well in their lives…

Parents – Write Things Down…

Parents – Write Things Down when you have invested in a Career Guidance Professional (CGP) to help your son or daughter in their career / academic / study plan challenges. So many parents trust the CGP (which they should) to give their child all the attention and care they need to help them make the right decisions, and never check in with them until the decisions are made at the end of the process (assessments, tests, questionnaires, discussions, decisions etc. are completed…). It is in your interest, as much as your child interests, that you know what is going on, what you have invested in and that you get summary feedback on what has been carried out at each session, what is needed to be done before the next session and what is planned to occur at the next session.

As you choose the CGP, ask them for a proposal regarding their approach, how long the intervention takes and the costs involved. The latter can be a deal-maker of course. But, you have to make the decision on what this is worth to you, what you will get out of it presently and in the future. The costs and time involved in your child choosing the wrong Career, choosing the wrong Third Level Course, choosing the wrong Leaving Certificate Subjects far outweigh the cost in investing in a CGP (if they are good of course and come with a track record, recommendations and testimonials).

As you and your child begin the process of working with the CGP, you need to request the following. More so from your child than the CGP. The CGP can also provide this information, but it is better that you get it from your child under the direction of the CGP…

  1. Summary of what occurred / was agreed at the session
  2. What has been given to your child in the form of exercises / activity for the next session?
  3. What is planned for the next session?

You should demand from the CGP that the above is completed and written down by the child, under the CGP’s direction and given to you in a format that is organised, professional and clear…all leading to making good career, academic and study plans for your child.

Once you have this information, it can benefit you in many ways:

  • You know exactly what is been carried out with your child during and between each session
  • You can review this information with your child immediately before and immediately after each session
  • You can look back at what was done in the days, weeks, months, year ahead should you witness that your child has not been following what they set out and agreed to do during their time with the CGP
  • You can involve the CGP again, if need be, if you feel that your son / daughter is not performing in the way that you expected
  •  Finally, by having this involvement and information in your child’s future career, education and study, you feel more confident and in control knowing that they are getting the best attention, and you are getting a return on your investment…an investment that is difficult to monetize (i.e. what is it worth to you?).

When it does deliver and your child meets all there and your expectations, the monetary investment is insignificant…





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