Tips to give your children a kick-start on the career ladder
All parents want to see their children succeed, but in today’s highly competitive society, it’s getting harder and harder. What can you do to help? The key is to communicate, to identify problems, and to help your children build up their skills. Although it’s difficult to predict the way the jobs market will look in the future, many of the things that make a person employable today will still be valuable in 10 or 20 years’ time. A child who is confident, creative and willing to work hard will still be well equipped to face the world.
First job challenges
One way to anticipate the challenges your children could face in the future is to look at what employers are saying about the young people approaching them today. When it comes to trying to get that first serious job, youngsters often fall short in terms of practical skills. Many don’t have the right kind of training or education for the jobs market, and those who do often struggle with the kind of creative thinking needed to meet challenges and solve problems in the workplace. They want to see more people who are capable of lateral thinking and who can relate pieces of information learned in different areas of study in order to come up with solutions.
Helping your children acquire skills
When it comes to developing workplace skills, it’s still important to focus on basics such as literacy, numeracy and basic computer literacy, as well as the discipline that a childhood job such as a paper round or working in a diner can teach. If you really want to give your child an edge, however, the best thing you can do is encourage them to explore and try to understand the world. This doesn’t necessarily require a big budget for travel. Engaging with local environmental schemes or getting involved in charity work can be just as educational. It’s particularly helpful to find opportunities that encourage kids to push their limits, mentally and physically.
The Prince’s Trust
One organization with a strong track record in this area is UK charity The Prince’s Trust. When a business leader such as Lord Laidlaw sells a firm for $1.4bn in order to invest in such an organization, you know it needs to be taken seriously. The Prince’s Trust focuses on the most vulnerable young people, such as residential care leavers and those who have struggled at school, to give them the kind of experiences, mentoring and support that can equip them to take on the world. It helps them to bond with their peers, develop trusting relationships with adults, and gain the confidence they need to succeed.
The work of The Prince’s Trust has shown that there are ways to improve the life chances of any young person, no matter how difficult their life has been. If you can give your children similar opportunities, you can give them the kind of flexibility and resilience that are an asset in any situation, preparing them to meet the challenges of the future.