Career Exploration: Preparing for the Future

At St Peters, career exploration is a vital part of our students' journey, helping them align their interests and values with potential career paths. By engaging in self-discovery, exploring various industries and setting educational goals, students gain crucial insights for their future. We incorporate global perspectives like the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to help students connect with broader issues. Practical experiences and interactions with industry specialists are encouraged to shape informed career decisions. In this latest edition of Schoolwise, Careers Counsellor, Jacquelene Estevao, explains how St Peters is helping students to make value-driven choices for a fulfilling professional life.

Understanding Career Exploration

While at school, students are very much in the exploration phase of their career development. Career exploration is a journey of self-discovery and learning about the world of work. It involves identifying potential careers and setting educational and training goals. This phase is crucial for students to understand their interests and values, helping them align future career options with what matters most to them.

Aligning Values with Global Goals

During their schooling journey, students are encouraged to remain open to various career possibilities and gather insights into different industries. Increasing their awareness of their personal values is critical to determining if a career aligns with their principles. The United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals offer a framework for students to identify global issues that resonate with them, such as health, education, climate action, infrastructure, innovation, economics and equality.

Early Exploration and Future Trends

Research indicates that it's never too early to begin career exploration in an age-appropriate manner. The World Economic Forum predicts that 65% of children entering primary school today will work in jobs that currently do not exist. This uncertainty underscores the need to prepare young people for a dynamic job market where they will likely engage in multiple careers/work roles during their lifetime.

Self-Awareness and Lifelong Learning

So, the question is: how do we prepare our young people for a world of work with some uncertainty and where they will engage in different careers /work roles over their lifetime? The answer lies in enhancing awareness of self, interests, purpose, meaning, and values and endeavouring to earn a living doing something that matters and that offers purpose and meaning to the individual. Education remains a critical investment, with 90% of employment growth expected in jobs requiring advanced skills. Vocational training, such as obtaining a Certificate II for community and personal service workers or a Certificate III for trades, also provides valuable career pathways.

The Benefits of Work Experience

Career exploration extends from early childhood into adulthood and is time-consuming. Herein lies the challenge for our students. They are focussed on achieving good academic results, which is commendable. However, they should also make time to speak with industry specialists, attend university open days and gain work experience. Universities report a fair percentage of students changing courses midway or dropping out. Employers are observing a similar trend within the trade sector. Practical exposure to roles and workplaces helps to minimise course changes, saving time and money. Work experience can be incredibly beneficial as it offers students a glimpse into their desired career paths, offering valuable insights into various roles. Exposure within industry helps to build knowledge and self-confidence and encourages networking. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in supporting students' future university applications and job prospects.

Leveraging Resources at St Peters

Students in Years 10, 11, and 12 at St Peters can access Natural Ability Testing Data, which can be a good starting point in the exploration/shopping around phase. Students are encouraged to refer to the work roles within their reports and shortlist areas that interest them. This data helps students identify work roles that align with their abilities and interests. According to the Japanese concept of ikigai, the sweet spot for job fulfilment comes from an intersection of ability, what the world needs and the sense of purpose or meaning.

At a minimum, students are encouraged to liaise with industry specialists. There is no better way to obtain a realistic perception of what the day-to-day is like when undertaking a certain role. We are so fortunate that parents in our St Peters community cover a diverse range of sectors and work roles. If students ask their friends about their parents' professions, they might discover areas of interest. They can then arrange a 15-minute chat with those parents to learn more.

Celebrating Career Exploration

In May, we celebrated National Careers Week, during which students connected with professionals to gain insights and explore exciting career possibilities. Those who participated took a significant step toward making informed decisions about their post-school options.

Exploring post-school options is not just about making a choice; it's about making informed, value-driven decisions that pave the way for a fulfilling career. Please encourage your children to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more about themselves and the evolving world of work.

Jacquelene Estevao
Careers Counsellor