Most people spend almost half a century working for a living; some work throughout their lives.
Just imagine, for instance, how one feels to spend the whole time doing something they dislike or even hate altogether. That is where career advice comes in handy.
It is critical to note that good career education and guidance can give young people a stepping stone to advance their future careers by providing them with the basic knowledge and skills they require to begin navigating their way successfully through career choices and changes.
Successful transitions, whether from lower secondary to upper secondary, into work-based training or university and ultimately into the labour market, are life-enhancing for individuals and critical to the learner’s future social and economic well-being.
These transitions also serve as an indicator of a good school.
Career Education and Guidance (CEG) should therefore be at the heart of any school’s development programme. All teachers have a role in securing successful transitions for their students.
It must be brought to the attention of all school career guidance teachers that this responsibility is not meant to turn them into specialist career advisors but purely aims to give them the competence and confidence to provide their students with informed decisions on their future career choices.
Before I delve into this very critical conversation, I must pose a basic question: What is a career? A career is a person’s pathway through learning and work.
Planning that journey should start in earnest at secondary school when students have to make subject and course choices.
They need to make choices that reflect their interests and strengths while ensuring they stay open to possible future pathways.
Under such demanding circumstances, students will need their teachers’ assistance and help, either through formal career lessons or one-on-one guidance interviews, among other professionally proven career education and guidance parameters.
Young people crave high-quality and impartial information and guidance to get the most out of their learning, to enable them to enjoy successful progression from one stage to another and to inform the crucial choices they make pertaining to their future life and work-related careers.
It is equally important to understand that Career Education and Guidance is part of the school’s self-evaluation of how it helps students achieve economic well-being.
However, some evidence for achieving that outcome is how well schools or learning institutions, for that matter, prepare their learners for working life.
CEG also helps make a positive contribution where young people are supported to manage changes and respond to challenges in their lives.
A young person’s life inside and outside school needs to include opportunities to enhance their personal development and explore activities that extend their interests.
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As a career adviser, you need to be aware of these wider opportunities and encourage students to participate towards that direction.
Above all, the information, advice and guidance career teachers offer to their students must be impartial and independent since a teacher’s prime purpose is to help the student to progress further along their own pathway of lifelong learning.