What’s Your Game Plan?

Posted by The MindScape Team on 8/2/2023

Game of Life

In the Game of Life, players must choose whether to begin a career or go to college. Of course, each path has clear advantages in the board game, but when it comes to helping your teen navigate their high school career choices and future career plans, they have more than two paths to consider. 

You may find yourself asking them, “What’s your game plan?” With so many opportunities to ponder, the best option for your teen may not be so obvious to them. To help your teen weigh their career readiness options and formulate a post-secondary game plan, our school counselors and career enrichment teachers work collaboratively to encourage their career development, from our freshmen and sophomores exploring potential career paths and identifying character strengths to our juniors and seniors developing their Career Action Plan.   

We’re dedicated to helping you, help your teen chart their course by fostering their vocational training, academic, and social-emotional well-being while promoting their individual talents and a curiosity for learning as they become career and life ready.  

Career Enrichment
In Career Enrichment classes, your teen is introduced to various career pathways and encouraged to discover what interests them or, more importantly, what doesn’t. Students get schooled in Career Development, where they gain the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to navigate a myriad of career, college, and military options available for success after high school. The curriculum starts with the exploratory process and basic technology skills, financial literacy, career development, resume writing, and employability, and then advances to Co-op cover letters, resume refinement, mock-job interviews, and shop portfolio presentations. In addition, there is post-graduation career planning, professional networking and informational interviews, and personal budgeting for entry-level employment. 

These positive career development experiences help your teen build transferable skills, provide context, motivation, and vision for their current and future academic work, and serve to increase school engagement, high school graduation rates, and post-secondary educational success. 

Career Planning 
To balance out the Career Enrichment curriculum, our school counselors help your teen build a course schedule that is challenging without being overwhelming while keeping their post-graduation plans on track. In the fall, school counselors present workshops to our juniors and seniors as they prepare to complete their Career Action Plan, which includes a helpful timeline and resources to consider while looking at these pathways: Workforce, College, and Military.

Your Plan of Action  
Now that you understand the career development and planning process our students are offered, we encourage you to talk with your teen about their plans as we work together to help them chart their course and prepare them for their career. 

Take a moment to check in and ask, “What is your game plan?” The answer will vary depending on the progress of your teen’s post-secondary planning. Be patient and listen to how they respond. Then ask some follow-up questions:

• Why do you want to work for that company, attend that college, or serve in the military?

• How will you achieve your career goals: by working, going to college, or enlisting?

• What job, program, or branch appeals to you?

• What are your long-term career and life goals? 

• What credentials or experience do you need?

• What if your Plan A doesn’t work out? Do you have a Plan B?

Allowing your teen the space to think, reflect, and answer these questions is a helpful way for them to consider how their career interests could play out across all available avenues. With many career opportunities within many industries, we encourage our students to think about the bigger picture. From Co-op placement (end of junior/early senior year) to thinking about working part-time/full-time trade work or attending a community college, there are many exciting ways to put their career game plan into action.

Next Steps...
Check out our Career Planning Checklist to help you and your teen think about and discuss where they want to go with their career and how they might get there.