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Explore career ideas with your child

Regular career conversations can have a positive impact on learning and career decisions.

Family conversations create a shared understanding of your child’s career ideas and direction. They are an important part of exploring, reflecting, and making choices. Your child will be better prepared to make career decisions.

Use your child's career ideas as a starting point

My child has no career ideas

It's not unusual for young people to have no ideas about the job they would like to do.

What to focus on

It's good to start with something they know about. Discuss what they like and dislike. From there you can explore what motivates them.

Conversation starters

Pick the question you like best and see where the conversation takes you. You don't have to ask every question or use them in the order below.

Questions you could ask to get a conversation going:

  • What sorts of things do you love doing?
  • What subject are you enjoying most?
  • What is it that you like about your favourite subject?
  • What lesson have you enjoyed the most? Why did you like it so much?
  • What project have you been most excited about doing at school?
  • How do you feel about working in a group?
  • What lessons or subjects don't you enjoy? What is it about them that you don't like?
  • When you think about the future, what is important to you?
  • Think of someone you know, and they job they do. What do you think their job involves? Do you think you would like to do a job like that? Why? Why not?

Tools to try

Buzz Quiz is a personality quiz that will give your child ideas of jobs based on their personality type. Buzz Quiz will take about 5 minutes to complete.

The Who am I? Quiz is based on the Buzz Quiz personality profile but is simpler. It will give your child ideas of the types of work that might suit them.

Career Match Quiz asks questions and generates a list of jobs and careers that are matched to your child's skills and interests. Career Match Quiz takes around 10 minutes to complete. It also has a skills section where your child can rate their skills.

My child has some career ideas

Having some ideas is a good starting point.

What to focus on

Explore why they are interested in the ideas they have. Is it an industry, role, type of work or workplace that inspires them?

Getting more information about a job will help them to decide if it is something they want to do. They can consider if it is a realistic option for them, any barriers there might be and how they can overcome them. If the more they find out, the more they are interested, they can think about next steps to give them the best chance of success.

Conversation starters

Here are questions you could ask to get a conversation going:

  • What would you like to do or study next?
  • Where do you hope that might lead?
  • What jobs or areas do you think you'd like to work in?
  • What do you know about those jobs and where have you found that information?
  • What would you need to know about a job to decide if you were interested in it?

Encourage your child to think about:

  • Future demand of the jobs they are interested in
  • Competition to get into the jobs they think they'd like
  • Location – where are those opportunities? Would they involve moving or travel?
  • Salary
  • Work pattern - how would your child feel about working in the evening or on weekends?
  • Qualifications, skills, and routes into a role - do these seem realistic?

Tools to try

Use Job Information to get more information for any jobs your child is considering. You will find:

  • How to get into that job
  • Skills and qualities needed
  • Relevant subjects
  • Related jobs to explore

Career Match Quiz takes about 10 minutes to complete. It will provide a list of career ideas linked to your child's skills and interests. Explore where your child's career ideas are in the list. Are there others they might not be familiar with that you can both find out more about?

Use Future Jobs Wales to explore some of Wales' most important industries. You can also find jobs and skills information by region and local authority. Learn what jobs are needed now and in the future.

My child has clear career ideas

If you child has a clear idea about the career they would like, here are some ideas to help them achieve their ambition.

What to focus on

Next steps and entry requirements. Do they have the skills and qualifications needed? Are they likely to meet any entry requirements?

Conversation starters

Here are questions you could ask to get a conversation going:

  • What makes you excited about this career?
  • Do you know anyone doing this job that you could speak to for more information?
  • Are there any things that would get in the way of you getting the job you want? What are they?
  • Are the opportunities locally? If not, where are they? Would you be happy to move?
  • If things don't go to plan, have you thought about any alternatives?

Tools to try

Use Job Information to get detailed information for the jobs your child is considering. They can find:

  • Pay and working hours
  • Qualifications, skills, and qualities needed
  • Future demand
  • Links to other sources of information for the job or industry
  • Relevant job websites

Use Future Jobs Wales to explore some of Wales' most important industries. You can also find jobs and skills information by region and local authority. Learn what jobs are needed now and in the future.

Use job websites to explore jobs that are being advertised now. This will help them find out the current salary, demand, and location of opportunities. It can show skills and experience employers are looking for. This might help identify areas to develop if there are any gaps.

Tips for positive conversations

It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to talking about the future. Here are some tips to help to make conversations easier and more useful.

The right time and place

It’s important that you’re both in the right mood to chat. Follow their lead. If they are distracted and don’t want to engage suggest leaving it for another time.

Chatting while you’re doing something else, for example eating lunch, while out for a walk, washing dishes or on a journey might feel more relaxed.

Chat regularly and keep it light

Early and frequent conversations allow time for reflection and help to build career ideas.

If you start talking about subject and career ideas before there’s any pressure to make a decision your child will be better prepared. They will have the words and ideas they need to better explore their options.

Start with something that inspires them and listen

Find out about your child's aspirations. Don’t be tempted to try to push the conversation in a certain direction.

Really listen to what they have to say. Give them your attention. Don't interrupt or start planning what to say next. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude.

Questions and answers

Try to avoid ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. Try starting questions with 'how', 'why' or 'what if' to open up the conversation.

Don't worry about knowing or finding answers immediately. It's useful to just explore options. If you identify anything that needs some research, jot it down.

A conversation isn’t about you quizzing your child. Why not get them to ask you the questions?

Show more

Use our tools together

Discover their personality type

The Buzz Quiz takes about 5 minutes to complete. By selecting a series of statements, each time from a choice of 2, your child can discover more about their strengths and personality.

The result will also suggest some jobs that are linked to their personality type.

You could both take the quiz and compare your results.

The Who am I? quiz is based on the Buzz quiz. It has fewer and more simple statements to choose between. The results will provide information about your child's strengths and types of work that might suit them.

Talk careers while gaming

CareersCraft is available on the Minecraft Marketplace.

If your child plays Minecraft, you could explore this environment together. There will be lots of prompts to chat about the world of work during each of the activities set at landmarks across Wales.

Explore jobs linked to their favourite subjects

Your child will have some subjects they enjoy more than others. Use Subjects and Jobs to find jobs linked to the ones they like best.

Each subject has a range of related job titles to explore. Each job title links to detailed information about that role.

Find jobs that match their skills and interests

Career Match Quiz takes about 10 minutes to complete. Answer a series of questions to get a list of personalised career ideas matched to interests and skills.

Careers Match Quiz includes a section where your child can rate their skills. It will then give ideas about the skills they need to work on.

Encourage your child to try this activity, especially if they don't have many career ideas.

Get detailed information about jobs

Whether you use your child's own career ideas, or a job suggestion generated by one of our tools, the next step is to find out more. Look together at how to get into a job. Find out what qualifications, skills and qualities your child will need and the expected future demand.

Job Information has details of over 700 jobs.

About Jobs is based on Job Information. It provides details about 32 different jobs in a simpler format.

Explore the information for a job together. Think about:

  • What about the job surprised you or them?
  • What things interest or excite them in the information?
  • What aspects of the job make them less keen on the job?
  • How do they feel about that role now they have researched it?

If they think this could be a job for them:

  • What steps do they need to take to find out more?
  • What help might they need to reach their goals?

If they have read something that makes them think this is not for them:

  • Ask them why?
  • What related jobs might they be interested in?
  • Discuss other job ideas your child could look at
Explore Future Jobs Wales

You can use Future Jobs Wales with your child to find out more about some of Wales' most important industries.

You can also explore regional information and filter by your local authority. Information on jobs and skills for each region in Wales includes details on the jobs in demand, the skills employers are looking for and industries that will grow or develop in the future.

Together you can discover the jobs they could do now and in the future.

Learn about decision making styles and skills

You can discover more about your child’s decision-making style and help them to improve their skills by encouraging them to play our decision-making games.

Explore self-employment

Our booklet, ‘So, you want to be an entrepreneur?’ (Big Ideas Wales) has information and resources to help 12 to 16 year olds explore all aspects of setting up their own business.

We also have a guide to help parents and carers (Big Ideas Wales) to support a young person who wants to start a business (Big Ideas Wales).

We're here to help

Talking about the future can be difficult. Having someone different and impartial to speak to might make a careers conversation easier.

Our advisers are available to speak to you and your child. They can explore ideas and set actions for your child's next steps. Contact us if you would like help.