When it comes to career development with students, plan is essential, because coaching is a process. It takes time to develop career development skills, just in the same way that it takes time for a footy coach to develop the skills of a player.
Year 11s are often assumed to be getting on with their schoolwork and not really thinking about the years ahead. In reality, they are surrounded by people asking them what they want to do or be after school and they’re already completing formal study programs.
Why Year 11 is an important year for secondary students
Giving students a career-coaching head start in Year 11 will help them build confidence for Year 12 – they may even require less direct support during that final year. Career coaching in Year 11 teaches the student discipline, and helps them to see that looking into careers is another regular activity that they should ideally plot into their schedule.
By Year 12, a student needs to be confident of the application processes relevant to them, so that they can use their time most effectively for their studies. Otherwise, Year 12 can become stressful and overwhelming. It is no wonder that many students in their senior years, especially in Years 11 and 12, become anxious when they lack support such as career coaching. When career coaching is in place and delivered at appropriate times across the year, young adults can thrive knowing that they have a professional, impartial and experienced coach guiding them throughout.
Skills development must also be owned by the student. They must take responsibility for their decisions and the activities required of them to make things happen.
A suggested career coaching plan for Year 11s
Term 1– weeks 7/8
- Check in regarding their subjects, grades and any issues or distractions, and work on any development tasks such as time management or resume writing.
- Talk about their part-time employment, hobbies, volunteering activities, work experience.
- Review their career assessment; for example, Morrisby Online and Career Fast Track.
- Revisit or create a Career Action Plan.
Term 2 – mid/late term
- Check progress and discuss ‘problem’ subjects in order to devise practical solutions.
- Check progress with action points on the student’s Career Action Plan.
- Work through activities together according to career development needs.
Term 3 – weeks 4/5
- Check in with the student regarding subject changes for Year 12 and discuss options.
- Review any events or activities they have attended and go through courses of interest, paying particular attention to admissions requirements, application dates and other course admission requirements.
- Commence or continue their exploration of courses using the relevant application centres, such as VTAC, TISC or UAC.
- Revise and update the student’s Career Action Plan.
Term 4 – weeks 7/8
- Discuss their subjects for Year 12.
- Clarify relevant higher education or employment traineeship/apprenticeship application processes, and work through any complex tasks or issues; for example, resume writing and creating a folio.
- Review and revise which specific processes are relevant to their application in Year 12, such as SEAS and scholarships.
Karen is a career coach specialising in early career exploration with school-aged students. This article has been edited and republished with permission from the author. You can read the original here.