National Careers Week is an annual event that takes place in the UK in March. The aim of the week is to provide young people with information and inspiration about different career options.
Although many schools put a huge focus on careers for this one week, it is even more effective to continue to drip-feed career advice and information throughout the year, in a variety of formats.
There is a huge opportunity for parents to get involved in their local schools and help students learn more about what they can do with their lives after they graduate. From traditional roles like doctor or lawyer to video game designer or professional athlete, there's something out there for everyone. So whatever a young person’s interests and talents may be, they should not be afraid to pursue their dream job!
As a member of the PTA, you are in a fantastic position to harness the knowledge and experience of the ‘parent body’. We’ve shared some ideas on how you can rally parent volunteers to encourage students to plan ahead and start thinking about their careers. Some may only be suitable for older students, but others could work well at primary level:
1. Have a resume writing workshop
Develop students’ resumé and interview skills by hosting a workshop in school that will teach our youth how to create an impactful document tailored for any industry, while also improving self-confidence.
Reach out to parent volunteers who may have experience in this area, or have perhaps been involved in interviewing and recruiting candidates in their workplace.
2. Offer free career counselling
Students can get help with their future plans and choose what they would like as a career from professional advisors, who are dedicated in helping them find the perfect match for themselves!
Reach out to your local business community and see whether any consultants would be willing to do an introductory talk. This can be a great lead generator for them (i.e bring them new business) so could be a win-win.
3. Hold a careers fair
The key to finding a successful career is being sure not only do you have the right skills for it, but also meeting people who can mentor and guide your future. Reach out to your local business community to see whether they would consider participating in a careers fair sited at your secondary school.
This is an opportunity for students to connect with potential employers in their area of interest, which could lead them down the road towards success!
4. Give presentations on different careers
During national careers week and even throughout the year, why not give presentations on how one can be successful in various industries.
From security guards to dietitians and beyond there are jobs available for everyone! This is the perfect time to have parents come into a class or attend an assembly to talk about their various roles.
5. Offer workshops on how to search for jobs online
Offering after-school workshops on how to search for jobs online and get interviews is a great hands-on event. Provide the tools, resources, tips-and even some templates that can help job searching become more streamlined.
Teach the kids how to use online databases like LinkedIn as well as other websites such focused exclusively on specific career opportunities in special niches such as accounting or finance.
Highlight the fact that employers tend to look at potential employees through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, so maintaining a respectable image online is very important.
6. Ask parents to contribute to PlanSocial’s Career Stories
We’re putting together a collection of Career Stories, by surveying parents about their job roles. There are just a few questions to answer (takes 5-10 minutes), capturing details about what qualifications they needed for their job, what they do from day to day, and what they like best about their role.
This simple but informative format will be a fantastic resource for kids to hear about all sorts of roles they might never otherwise hear about. Take a moment to take the survey yourself now (we collect responses on a rolling basis so it’s never too late), and then share it with parents in your school!
Over to you
Whatever a young person’s interests may be, it’s important that we provide them with the information and resources they need to make informed decisions about their future. We’d love your support in making this a fabulous and useful resource so that by next year’s National Careers Week. It will be full of inspirational career stories from people like you.
PlanSocial provides online payment and community hubs for schools and PTAs. List events and volunteer opportunities, sell tickets and collect online donations, connect parents directly with others in their kids’ classes and harness goodwill from their amazing parent community. Create a hub for your school community in 2 minutes.