Whether or not your teenager worked during high school, they still have to figure out what is next for them. Is your teen nearing the end of their time in high school and still trying to figure out post high school plans? While I am not one to speak about being career-oriented (I chose my majors less on job options and more on areas of interest and passion.), I have observed job areas that offer promising options for teens merging into adulthood.
Real Estate Agents
There is a lot of potential to grow in the property industry, and there are courses out there that train high school graduates as real estate agents. Once your teen is qualified, they can then join a well-established realtor company and rise up through the ranks. Alternatively, your teen might prefer to work for themselves and be a freelance property expert. No matter which route they choose, if they have the right work ethic and personality, they can find lots of success along the way! And this career path does not necessarily require that they go to college. However, there are college degrees that would be beneficial to one as a real estate agent.
Marketing has never been more important for companies these days. With the recent rise of social media, there is now a whole new branch of marketing that many teens are already experts at without even knowing it: social media marketing. As marketing methods continue to develop, companies are constantly on the lookout for new team members to help them improve their marketing strategies. The best way to get into this industry is to study marketing or business at college, and then look for internships. I know several teenagers currently planning to pursue this career path in college because they see the great opportunities. Many of them even want to utilize marketing strategies to help promote non-profits benefiting a good cause.
Working in the city as a trader is highly lucrative but can be extremely stressful. However, there is a much better alternative for teens who are interested in working with money. They can become financial advisors. If your teen is interested in becoming one, they should look into studying math or economics at college. They will then be able to apply for jobs with big financial firms. After a few years getting experience at a firm, your child might have the confidence to launch their very own financial advisory business. A great one to check out and consider (they are typically known for their integrity) is Edward Jones. If your teen is interested in this field of financial advising and counseling–encourage them to shadow a local advisor. Plus, they may pick up some money-management tips while they are there!
Teaching is a very traditional career route. However, it will probably always be in demand. And there is no wonder. It is a very rewarding career. It can also be a very challenging career. As someone who has worked in the education system, I can attest to the demand for good teachers. I can also attest to how time-consuming and difficult this career path can be. If your teen is interested in teaching, help them select a college or program that gets them shadowing and spending time in the classroom early on so they can decide if it is really for them or not.
This is a growing and popular field–and one that does not require a four-year-degree. There are many technical programs out there. Unfortunately, it is a field where one has to start from the bottom and work their way up. Chefs often have to make a name for themselves before they can land a job they are really excited about. But, if they put in the time, effort, and plenty of apprentice work, they will find management opportunities, chances to work as a head chef, open their own successful restaurant (like these in NYC), or start a catering business.
Maybe you fear that your teen is not “college material”. Don’t despair. There are lots of people who are smart and skilled, just in different ways. In fact, skilled work like carpentry/wood working, construction, welding, etc. are important and needed careers that pay well. Fewer and fewer teens are growing up with these skills. If you sense that your teen is more of a hands-on learner than a textbook-learner, encourage them to take some woodworking classes or learn some technical skills that may open up into career opportunities for them in the future.
Where will your teen’s potential take them? As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities waiting for them! And they do not all require a four-year-degree. Just remember, these are far from the only promising careers. And if your teenager is like my husband and I (and many people we know), they may not be career-oriented. Many people seek (yes to pay the bills), but to pursue more artistic or creative outlets. And that is wonderful! We need artists and writers just as much as we do any other career. They shape our culture and society and humanity as a whole. Sometimes these more “creative” career paths require a day job or supplemental income to allow one to chase their dream. But they are still worthy.