• What Teens Need to Choose a Career | Devon Turcotte | Episode 191

  • choose a career

    Careers are incredibly variable, and many of our societies are big on kids choosing career paths before they even start secondary education. But how are they supposed to even know where to start? And how can we guide our teens in figuring out how to educate themselves and choose a career without letting our own experiences and preferences influence their choices? Career strategist and coach Devan Turcotte joins Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler to explore education options alternative to college, ways to research possible careers, and how to encourage and support your teen through the first steps of choosing their career paths. 

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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    The point is to learn and grow, not so much the specific degree.

    High Points From Our Conversation on What Teens Need to Choose a Career:

    quote on how to choose a career

    There’s so much variability in careers, it can make trying to choose a career seem almost impossible.

    The chaos theory of careers: at some point your career is going to be impacted by something beyond your control that you couldn’t predict. 

    The point is to learn and grow, not so much the specific degree you’ll end up with.

    I don’t know what I want to do:

    • Get some hands-on experience. Get a job (full-time, part-time), do some job-shadowing (or an internship), work in a co-op position.
    • Take stock of favorite classes or activities—what skills do you use to be successful in those (teamwork, memorization, organization, etc.)? 
    • Do some basic searches: what jobs require; what jobs require [your identified skills]; etc.

    Follow your passion! is terrible career advice for youth; it sets up unrealistic expectations on what work is about.

    Some type of post-secondary education is necessary—but that doesn’t mean college is the only option. Look around and ask people; there are other options out there.

    Given the current trends, if you choose a career in skilled trades, you’re almost guaranteed employment unless you’re not very good at what you do.

    Millennials are shifting into an informational economy rather than a manufacturing economy.

    Before you choose a career, quality career research is essential:

    • Start with good conversations around careers
      • Do some informational interviews with people who are in areas that interest you
      • Ask for fifteen minutes, ask 2-3 questions:
        • What does your typical day look like?
        • How do you balance your career with the other parts of your life?
        • Etc. (pick your own questions—pick wisely!)
    • Look for information that doesn’t come from the institution—informational bias is less likely from outside sources
    • Go on LinkedIn for a particular institute and look up alumni and filter for various career paths

    Parents, if you are uncomfortable with the path your teen is choosing, open up the conversation and encourage them to research.

    When you say you want to be______, what about that choice/path appeals to you? 

    Guide your kids and keep them accountable. In helping them choose a career, momentum is a powerful thing; don’t let your teens lose it.

    Different types of education work together. Find alternatives to get where you want to go.

    For pathways to higher education:

    • Check community college sites and with the Board of Education
    • Look up transfer agreements
    • Talk to your school guidance counselor


    Malcolm Gladwell’s talk about elite institutions

    Unmotivated Teens Shift Gears When They Find Purpose | Tim Klein | Episode 146

    Raising Resilient Learners | Adina Glickman | Episode 174

    Parenting Teenagers through High School and Through College Admissions | Cindy Muchnick and Jenn Curtis | Episode 178

    Our Guest Devan Turcotte:

    Devan Turcotte discusses how to choose a career

    Devon Turcotte is working to change career conversations through Careerified, a career coaching business based in Ontario, Canada. A Certified Career Strategist and member of the Career Professionals of Canada, Devon’s draw to the career development field is rooted in the connection between mental health and career decision making. She is a fierce advocate for lifelong learning and believes that there is always an alternate route to success.

    Prior to starting her business, Devon worked with thousands of students, parents and educators, delivering in-school presentations on careers in the skilled trades and recruiting in Ontario’s community college system. She then moved into providing one-on-one coaching and workshops to students and liaising with employers through campus career services.

    In addition to her career strategist certification, Devon holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Royal Roads University.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://careerified.ca. 

    Our Sponsor:

    Sandy Fowler: Are you stressed but don’t have time to deal with it? I get it. Grab my complimentary lesson at http://sandyfowler.com/notime to find out how to start feeling better today.