To Inspire the teens around you and help them choose the right career is both an honor and a responsibility. As someone who has younger siblings, it is rewarding when they come up to you and thank you for the inspiration.

“If I only knew then what I know now, I probably would’ve chosen a different career path.”This line may sound all too familiar, echoing your own thoughts or that of someone you know? In a fact, getting into the wrong profession is a common mistake that even intelligent people can make. One study shows that at least 90% of individuals aged 21 to 65 say they made the wrong career choice, with many basing their choice of university courses on parental and peer pressure. The result is a dissatisfied workforce who’d rather be elsewhere instead of at their current jobs.

Image from Ivory Mix

Work satisfaction is of utmost importance in bolstering employee happiness and productivity. For this reason, we need to help ensure that the younger generations receive critical career guidance and motivation. There’s no better time than today to share your voice and inspire the teens around you. We’ve come up with these effective yet practical ways you can apply so you can help them decide on the best career for them.

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1. Engage them through pressure-free conversations

First off, ask yourself if you’ve already built a good relationship with the teenager you’d like to inspire. This is important because, without a relationship, there can be no influence. If the young ones know that you have their best interests at heart, they’ll find it easier to talk and listen to your advice. If you live far apart, keep the communication going through technology that allows you to host virtual meetings.

If you already have enough influence over them, it would perhaps be best to take off the pressure from the very start. Let the teens know that, although you’re there to guide them, ultimately, the decision is theirs to make. Here are a few ways to help them feel that they’re in a safe space with you: 

  • Remind them that while it’s important to think things through, they don’t have to decide right away. Instead, they can take the time to choose among the available options and determine what can work for them.
  • Enlighten them that career-switching (or even changing college courses) does happen. Let them know that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing if they decide to change professions later on. This will help take the pressure off their decision-making.
  • Let them do 80% of the talking by asking thought-provoking questions. This way, you can help them line up possibilities and draw out their preferences and aspirations instead of imposing your opinions and ideas on them.

2. Encourage them to explore

Understandably, they may not know what they want from the get-go, as is often the case with the youth. So egg them on to discover what interests them. For instance, they can take self-guided courses to learn more about real-world skills at their own pace. Such activity can help them assess their strengths and help them realize what they are or can be passionate about. 

Encourage them to not limit their options by looking outside their comfort zone. Instead, expose them to as many experiences and activities as possible, such as attending events like Ted Talks, watching documentaries, sports, and outdoor activities, and volunteer work.

Who knows, they may eventually chance upon something that they’d want to do for the rest of their lives.

3. ” Show and Tell”

If it’s possible to take your teenagers with you to work, this could be a cool way to share your actual experience with them. It can be highly inspiring to see someone in action, doing work they love to do, and actually excel at it. Shadowing you around will also enable them to picture themselves in actual work scenarios and give them an idea about handling real-life responsibilities and challenges.

You may also know people who have jobs your teens are interested in. Perhaps these friends of yours may provide precious insider information about their industry and profession. While it’s true that they are entitled to make their own mistakes, young learners can surely learn a thing or two from the experiences of those who have gone before them. This way, they can hit the ground running—and be more effective at it!”

4. Motivate them to experience actual work early in life

Nothing beats experience as a life coach. Why not encourage the younger generation to work early on? Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, and Publix — these are good places where your teens can learn valuable life- lessons. Getting their first job can also boost their confidence as they realize more of their strengths and gain marketable skills they can use in their future careers. 

What’s even more remarkable is that some of these teen-friendly workplaces even offer tuition reimbursement for university or technical schools. Starbucks, for instance, offers 100% tuition coverage for a first-time bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University’s online program. This entitlement is for employees who put in at least 20 hours each week.

Your teens’ options can also include working for socio-civic organizations and local, federal, or state agencies. In addition, there are summer youth employment programs such as WorkReady (Philadelphia), One Summer Chicago, and Youthworks (Houston) that can equip teenagers with hands-on learning to enhance skills and build experience.

Sharing is Caring

How to inspire the teens around you pinterest pin
How to inspire the teens around you pinterest pin

How do you inspire the teens around you?

Our future truly lies in the hands of the youth. What better way to steer them in the right direction than by providing the guidance and wisdom they need early in life to choose their prospective careers. Let’s do our part by investing the time and effort to inspire and help them eventually carve their own niche in the world.

More About the Author

Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated into his works. Connect with Bash on Instagram and Linkedin

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8 Comments

  1. khoingn | The Broad Life

    April 7, 2022 at 11:40 AM

    These are such great tips! I think show and tell approach is definitely a good way since many people pick a model to follow, including teens. And of course, many people pick a billionaire to follow.

  2. Nyxie

    April 5, 2022 at 2:51 PM

    I think it’s important to let teens explore their choices. I was pushed into the direction my parents wanted for me, which ultimately made me very unhappy. There is a certain point in life where you have to figure the hard stuff out for yourself.

  3. Fransic verso

    April 4, 2022 at 11:12 PM

    Making them explore is a good idea. It helps to know more about going outside and learn from the experience.

  4. Ave

    April 4, 2022 at 6:53 PM

    Being a teenager is difficult enough, so any guidance that helps them with decision-making will be well received. A little bit of work experience will come in handy in the future.

  5. Tweenselmom

    April 4, 2022 at 2:33 PM

    So agree with the last one. My teen is currently freelancing, and she gets to experience work even if it’s just part-time. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Brooke

    April 4, 2022 at 12:57 PM

    Great job! This would have been helpful when I was deciding on a career choice!

  7. Ntensibe Edgar

    April 4, 2022 at 11:17 AM

    Nnnniiiccceeeeee….this is a very accurate guide. I use the show and tell approach. It works best as we share knowledge and feedback on the progress made.

  8. Nkem

    April 4, 2022 at 10:48 AM

    Super important to focus on the teens! They are in that phase of life where things can seem limited, especially if they haven’t been encouraged to dream and explore.

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