We continue our series of Aimee’s 11 Student Success Elements. In this issue, we will discuss career management, highlighting the importance of early on academic advising, and going through steps you can follow to guide your students to the proper career path for them.
In high school, students experience some flexibility and freedom in choosing their extracurricular classes, sports, music, etc. However, their schedules are more or less programmed for them. By the time they’re juniors or seniors, they often find themselves in a sort of ‘early-life-crisis’. Their main concern now is their transition from high school to either higher education or straight to the workplace.
How can we help them? Career management through academic advising is one way we can help.
Many students do not know how to plan for their future and manage their careers. In order to ease their anxiety, we need to guide our students in discovering a few appropriate career choices even before they select their major and transition to university. Teaching career management, facilitated by academic advising, enables students to self-assess, research, prioritize their options, and finally compare and consider them before choosing their desired field.
Step 1 - Self-assessment
If students don’t have a definite idea of the career path they want to take, the career management process may be more of a quest to discover personal likes and preferences, and skills they might not yet be aware of. This involves four components:
Step 2 – Research
This is where educators need to remind students to question what makes them happy and inspired, what challenges and excites them so that their personality and interest values are filled in. To facilitate this search, educators and mentors may hold research workshops and invite professionals onto campus for Q&A talks with students.
Step 3 – Condense and Prioritize
Ask them questions such as: “What do you want out of a job?” and “What is most important to you?” This will help your students prioritize their list of options and not make their decision too prematurely.
Last but not least, have your students compare their list of career options to their prioritized interests, values, and skills. Though you want to excite, inspire, and support them, remind them to be realistic about their expectations. Above all, keep in mind that it is their decision to make.
Have some time to spare? Here’s a list of 4 fun career planning activities you can do with your students.
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