Career Exploration Starts Early
Allison Singer has been developing children’s books, magazines, and media for more than a decade. As the senior editor of special projects at TIME for Kids, she has helped lead the creation of Your 🔥 Job, a new, free career-exploration site for children ages 8 to 14. Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is excited to partner with TIME for Kids to support National Career Development Day and encourage younger and mid-grade students to consider all the possibilities of their future careers. RIF and TIME for Kids know that reading opens worlds of opportunity for all that children will become.
Career exploration matters, and at an earlier age than most may think. According to a survey by BestColleges, 61 percent of graduates say they’d go back and change their major if they could, and by the time older teens are in high school or nearing graduation, some already know—or at least have an inkling about—where they want to head next.
Younger teens and tweens, who are just starting to think about finding their future, are in the perfect position to explore their options. In order to do that, they need high-quality, equitably accessible resources and up-to-date information on the ever-expanding world of work. How can they envision themselves in jobs they've never heard of, some of which won't exist for another decade or two?
It’s these kids, ages eight to 14, who we want to reach with Your 🔥 Job—a new, free career-exploration website powered by TIME for Kids. Through articles, videos, interactive interviews, virtual events, a research-backed skills assessment, and more, the platform aims to give kids a flying head start into navigating the many different career pathways available to them.
National Career Development Day is November 16. To celebrate, here are five tips from career-exploration expert Terina Allen for helping your kids or students begin their journey:
- Pay attention. Encourage kids to evaluate their skills, interests, and passions. This is the first step on a career path to their perfect fit.
- Define success. Ask your child: What does success mean to you? If they can define it for themself, they can make decisions that will help them experience that success.
- Consider all aspects. A person’s career choices will affect key aspects of their life, including their income, their social life, and even how they feel, mentally and emotionally.
- Look inward. Encourage kids to avoid pressure from others to choose a career path that really doesn’t interest them. Courage and determination will help them on their way.
- Be flexible. Let kids know that it’s okay to pick a job and keep it for your entire career, but it’s also okay to build a career from several different jobs. Everyone has the right to start one career path and then change it as they go.
Teachers, parents, and caregivers: We invite you to visit Your 🔥 Job and take a look around. (Did I mention it’s free?) This platform is in its early days, and, like the world of work, it’s ever-evolving. Please don’t hesitate to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback will help us strengthen the site into the most useful, robust resource possible so all kids can see themselves as the future success stories they are.