Skip to main content
Welsh Government EnglishCymraeg

Help your child make career decisions

We can support you to help your child to make their own informed decisions.

As a parent you have the greatest influence over the education and career decisions your child will make. It’s natural to want the best for them. You’ll need to offer guidance and support but give them freedom to make their own choices.

Where do I start?

Feeling like you need to have answers for everything can be overwhelming. Especially with work and education constantly changing.

Have regular chats with your child to find out about subjects they enjoy, plans for what comes next, and career ideas. This will give you an idea of where they might need help.

Research is the key and knowing where to find reliable information is important. Try not to do the work for your child, but with them. Encourage them to find out more and help them work out what they need to do next.

Remember that we are here to help. There are tools and information on this website you can use. You can contact us via live webchat, phone or email. You can arrange to meet a careers adviser with your child to explore options that might be right for them.

The labour market and jobs of the future

The labour market is changing all the time. So, how do you help your child explore what's out there?

We have information that can help you explore potential future jobs with your child.

Your own career journey

You will be most familiar with subjects, routes, and roles that you have taken. And it’s good to share and reflect on your experience and choices.

Everyone is different. It’s important to remember that the route you took might not be the best choice for your child.

Be ready to look at alternatives to what feels familiar. Opportunities might exist now that were not available to you.

What does a ‘good’ career look like?

A career is rarely about deciding to do one thing and sticking with it. It is more often a series of choices and roles throughout your working life.

A good career can mean different things to different people.

A good career might mean that you:

  • Earn enough to be financially stable and support the lifestyle you want
  • Enjoy what you do
  • Like where you work
  • Feel that your work matters
  • Have flexibility
  • Have opportunities to learn and develop

Your child’s financial security will be linked to their future career. But how much they might earn shouldn’t be the only focus when considering career ideas.

We spend a long time in work, so it makes a difference if we like what we do. Being happy and fulfilled is important for quality of life. If your child enjoys a course or job, it will motivate them. So, it’s important that their choices are a good fit for them.

Show more

Helping your child make the right decision

Often there is no right or wrong decision. Think about what is a good fit and what is possible, taking into account current circumstances and opportunities. Being aware of opportunities and where they might lead is important to make informed decisions.

While career decisions are important, choices made now can be changed. Career paths often have twists and turns. How many people are in the career they planned at 16, 18 or even in their twenties?

Be prepared for your child to change their mind. If this happens you might want to explore what is prompting the change. Be ready to explore possibilities.

Encourage them to have back up ideas. If they don't get the grades they need, do they have an alternative plan. Is there a different career, course, college or university they would consider? A careers adviser can help you both look at possible options.

Be mindful of how much influence you have. Children often feel pressure to follow their parents’ career advice. Make sure your influence is positive and beneficial.

You could encourage your child to play our decision-making games to find out more about their decision-making style and improve their decision-making skills.

If your child has career ideas you don’t like, give an opinion but respect their decision. If you feel that their ideas are unrealistic, contact us and make an appointment for you both to meet with a careers adviser. You will be able to explore ideas and options further with someone who is impartial.

Show more

You might also like