What kind of careers advisor are you?

Everyone wants the best future for their children. We all have different ways to help guide them there. What’s your careers advice style when it comes to your kids? See if you fit one of our four styles, and get some ideas for changing things up a little.

The Launchpad

Most likely to say: “There’s no substitute for hard work.”

Have your kids been earning their pocket money since they could crawl? Do you have more sales patter up your sleeve than Del Boy? Then you’re The Launchpad – and proud of it!

You’ve worked all your life to build your career and give your children every opportunity you didn’t have. “Live your dreams, kids” — preferably the one with the steady job and a nice pension. You believe that education is the key to unlocking a bright future, but only if they’re prepared to put in the hard graft. Careers advice in your house probably includes the words “in my day”, but you’re first to swot up on new schemes and routes – whether it’s as a student, an apprentice... or on The Apprentice. Couldn’t hurt to try, right?

Trying a different tack as The Launchpad

When you want them to shoot for the moon, don’t forget there’s a whole universe of options out there. Your drive and determination will help fuel their mission, but without an open-minded attitude, it could be a lot of hot air.

Whatever your careers advice style as a parent, it’s easy to feel at sea with the options and want to make double sure you and your child are up to speed with the changing routes of work. Have a browse around the parental advice hub and consider coming along to an event, in person or online, to find out the latest.

The Cheerleader

Most likely to say: “As long as you’re happy, darling.”

Are you happy to let your kids take the lead? Will you bend over backward to help? Then shake a parental pom-pom, you’re The Cheerleader – always applauding from the sideline, keen to boost them up the career pyramid.

You’ve cheered them through hobby after hobby in the hope they’ll find their true calling, but sometimes you’re overwhelmed by all the new options. It’s hard to know what careers advice to offer. You’re uncertain about university — you don’t want them to miss out, but it would be nice if they could hit the ground running in a good career without all that debt.

Trying a different tack as The Cheerleader

As well as encouragement, don’t be afraid to challenge your kids with tough questions and get clued up about their options… could a ‘degree apprenticeship’ be the perfect solution to the dilemma? It could mean trying a whole new approach to their dream job. After all, there’s more to life than the trophy cabinet.

The Manager

Most likely to say: “It’s never too early!”

You’re always one step ahead of your brood, arriving at parents’ evening with your own binder. While other kids dressed as wizards and monsters on World Book Day, yours was a miniature Steve Jobs or Sheryl Sandberg. You’re The Manager — determined to make sure your young star has the best possible chance to shine.

You’ve been supporting their career aspirations for as long as they’ve been supporting their own head. You’re a fount of knowledge – even if some of it could do with a refresh. You know the UCAS requirements off by heart and request extra homework when you feel they’re not being stretched — but if anyone asks, that wasn’t your idea.

Trying a different tack as The Manager

Not everyone flourishes in the limelight. Try looking beyond the academic stage, and give your kids time and space to work out what prestige means to them. You might be surprised by their performance when they go freestyle.

The Driver

Most likely to say: “Better safe than sorry!”

You like to err on the side of caution. Your biggest fear is your child announcing they want to be a painter-slash-performance poet. Your instructions and guidance are so clear, practical and reliable you could almost replace the sat nav.

You may find the modern jobs market confusing... what exactly does a Digital Brand Ninja do? You know that financial security matters, so you tend to steer your teenager toward secure, traditional professions easily explained to the neighbours.

You see the value in work experience, but you beleve a university education is the route to a good salary, independence and the ability to use the washing machine.

Trying a different tack as The Driver

It’s natural to want stability for your children, but they need to enjoy the journey, as well as the destination. Why not let them take the wheel? Research new opportunities together, map out different choices and let them consider the roads less travelled. You never know — they might find a shortcut to success.

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  • Lauren Bravo

About the author

Lauren Bravo is a London-based journalist and lifestyle writer, often read in The Pool, The Guardian, The Debrief, Refinery 29 and Cosmopolitan.