Addressing Career Uncertainty and Stress

As career practitioners, we have a unique opportunity to guide and support young people navigating the often overwhelming realm of career uncertainty. By understanding the challenges they face and employing effective strategies, we can empower them to develop the clarity and confidence needed to make informed career decisions.

Career uncertainty and anxiety

myfuture has recently released a new Insights report into managing career anxiety, researching some of the reasons behind why secondary school students are feeling confused or anxious when thinking about their future careers. Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Over one-third of the 2,800 students surveyed (33.8%) responded that they didn’t know what careers best suited them, and 40.5% often felt that they had no career direction.
  • Career uncertainty and anxiety were caused by different factors, including students’ backgrounds, expectations from teachers and parents, and not having enough information to make an informed decision.
  • Being aware of the feelings and decision-making processes associated with making choices is as important as knowing about occupational options and study pathways.
  • Career advisors, teachers, and parents and carers all play an important role in supporting young people when making career choices.

So how can we as careers practitioners support students best?

The importance of career conversations

Career conversations play an important role in the career development of young people. They serve as a bridge between aspirations and actions, fostering self-awareness and informed decision-making. Through these conversations, career practitioners can help young people understand the complex nature of career choices, manage their emotions, and explore viable pathways. By actively engaging in career conversations, we empower young individuals to unlock their potential, make confident decisions, and build a solid foundation for their future.

myfuture resources

Along with the report, myfuture has also developed a short questionnaire that can be used to help start career conversations with students, pinpointing areas for further discussion. You can find the questionnaire and read the full report from myfuture here.

They are also hosting a webinar on 30 May for careers advisors and teachers on managing career uncertainty and dive deeper into the findings of the report – you can register here.

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