Children are often eager to talk about their future and their ideal careers at a fairly young age. As young children, their focus is on what they know and see in their immediate environments, therefore early conversations can broaden their beliefs and perceptions about careers and roles. This will help young children to develop a healthy sense of self, and to explore and improve their skills to prepare them for the realities of education and work at later stages in their development.
As youth begin to think about what their lives may look like after high school and the types of career opportunities that could be available to them, they continue to need guidance and support to help them in their planning and decision making. Sources of information and support can look different for different students. Students can benefit in their career exploration from dedicated career education courses offered in their high schools and consult with their school career counsellors on their options. They may also seek information and direction from elders, community members (role models and mentors), employment centres and post-secondary recruiters. But for many students, the source they rely on most for advice is their families. Students turn to parents and family members for help in making their education and career choices.
According to a March 2019 LMi Insights Report (Educational and Career Choices for Students and Parents: The role of labour market information), students surveyed indicated that labour market information played a confirmatory role in their career choices and that personal interest and future employment opportunities were central to their decision-making process. As a parent/ family member of a student who is fast approaching completion of their schooling, it is important for you to provide them with accurate and relevant information and the support they need to help them find answers to questions they may have, such as “how do I choose” and “how do I know what is right for me”. For this to happen, you must stay current. This means being informed about what is happening in the labour market and the types of job opportunities that are available that could match with students’ interests and skills. It is also important to recognize and reinforce that the career decisions they are faced with are not a one-time event; rather, their career journey is a lifelong process that will evolve as they change and grow with lived experiences. The LMI Video for Families can help you in your understanding of how to access and use LMI to support your child.
Click on your province to be taken directly to the provincial website for Labour Market Information. To access federal Labour Market Information found on the Government of Canada website, click here.
“Know that you can’t plan out your entire life, and that what you choose to study may not be what you do for the rest of your life. It’s absolutely fine to not have everything figured out from the start, and it’s important to be flexible and accept that unexpected changes will likely occur. Having said all this, being prepared with knowledge about your options allows you to more easily navigate these changes and obstacles. As they say, knowledge is power, and knowledge of the labour market and different education and career options will be useful throughout your life.”
Advice from Post-Secondary Student to High School Student