How can Career Guidance help my Secondary School student?

Career Guidance exploration can start in first year in secondary school. In Transition year, you child may need support to choose their subjects for Leaving Cert. We begin first by identifying what general career areas your child would be most drawn to. Each work environment demands different mind-sets. We identify the work environment that calls for your child’s mind-set or natural talents.

We then look at which courses your child would need to do in College to get into this work environment. These College courses will ask for specific subjects in the Leaving Cert. We make sure that your child chooses the subjects that gets them on to the College course, which will eventually allow them to access the career they love. The subjects your child will choose will also tap into their natural skills and talents. This will mean that your child will find these subjects easier to study, and will also most probably perform better in these subjects in the Leaving Cert.


+Will you help my child with subject choices for the Leaving Cert?

Absolutely! We assess first of all which careers your child is most suited to. We then decide which courses they need to study in university/college to lead them into that career. We then look at which Leaving Cert subjects the college course requires, which in turn leads to deciding which subjects to choose and to focus on in Fifth Year. Please note, that we always do this in conjunction with the full career assessment process.


+My child received career guidance in school already. Why do I need to look at more?
Basically you don’t. Students receive expert career guidance in school and are guided to suitable careers. Our service benefits those students who are still unsure and could benefit from more time. We created the Careers Assessment System.

The Careers Assessment System:· This is an in-depth psychometric assessment, with four different assessment including personality profiling. This in-depth approach can help even the most indecisive student choose the next best step towards a career they love.

· It is tailored to suit the Student: We appreciate that everyone’s needs are different, so we are able to devote special attention to whatever is important for the student.

· We meet with you, the Parent: We consider this to be an essential part of the process. You more than anyone know your child. Parents provide us with nuggets of information that allow us to provide an in-depth and all round service.

· We use the most up to date, sophisticated Psychometric tools: The tests we use are of the same standard as those used in large corporates. People ask us: why do we need to use such sophisticated tools on school students? We say that your student is making not only a career choice, they are making a life choice. It is really important for them to choose the next best step. This next best step will put them on a path where they can continue to develop their career throughout their lives. At this point they need to make the most informed decision they can. We use the best tools to provide them with the best information.

· We provide expert advice: We have advised thousands of students. We have dealt with every scenario and built up a huge database of career options! We have dealt with students from all backgrounds and all abilities. You can therefore trust our experience and our expertise when advising your child.


+Do you give me, the Parent, the results of the Assessment?
We do better than that. We meet with you in person. We consider meeting parents to be an essential part of the process. You more than anyone know your child. Parents provide us with nuggets of information that allow us to provide an in-depth and all round service. Parents can also pick up on things and remember things that the student may forget.


+Do I get a report?
Yes you do. Parents and the student get a comprehensive written report of:

· The result of each assessment.

· The options that the student chose.

· A full written account of all that was discussed during the session, including parental input.

· A comprehensive list of careers that would suit your child.

· A list of Fifth Year subject choices, if the student is in Transition Year.

· A list of CAO priorities, if the student is in Sixth Year.

· A list of website links of all courses that you would suit your child.


+What Tests do you use?
We use the most up to date, sophisticated Psychometric tools: The tests we use are of the same standard as those used in large corporates. People ask us why we need to use such sophisticated tools on school students. We say that your student is making, not only a career choice, they are making a life choice.It is really important for them to choose their next best step. This next best step will put them on a path where they will continue to develop their career throughout their life. At this point they need to make the most informed decision they can. We use the best tools to provide them with the best information.


+What if my Child does not get the points they want for College?
Don’t worry, we have thought of this! This is a very genuine concern for both students and parents. For this reason we have developed The Safety Net System:The “Safety Net System” This reassures your child that no matter what the outcome of their Leaving Cert, they still have options. This knowledge tends to relax students and allows them to perform to their highest level.How it works:

· The Safety Net System encourages your child to put the course they most want as their top choice (Plan A), even if they think they are being a little ambitious as regards college points.

· We then put a Plan B in place, just in case the Leaving Cert does not go as planned. Plan B would be a course that your student would still like to get, but will demand lower points.
· Just in case Plan B does not work out as planned, we put Plan C in place – and so on down the line.

· Basically, we ensure that no matter what the outcome of the leaving cert, your student still has a course option.

· We open our course exploration out to include all types of College choices – universities, Institutes of Technology, Post Leaving Cert courses, Professional Training, and Apprenticeships.

· The aim of the Safety Net System is to provide your child with as many options as possible and to show them that, no matter what happens in the Leaving Cert, they still have a choice. This has the effect of relaxing students, showing them that they have plenty of options in the world beyond their leaving cert. It reassures them that they can use their natural skills and talents in a range of careers.


+I’m worried my child won’t be interested in, or will be very resistant to, the idea of Career Guidance. What can I say to them to get them to get on board?
The vast majority of teenagers are open to doing this process. However there are always a few who can think of better things to do with their free time!

Here a few tips. Explain to your child that:

· This is not part of school. It is not homework they need to do. This is a service you are offering to them, that is tailor-made for them to make their life easier.

· They will not be told what to do. They are the client and the decision will always remain with them. We will never dictate, we will only advise after consultation with them.

· This is a system your child cannot fail. All of the assessments are questionnaires. It is never about passing or failing. We are not interested in what they can’t do; we only want to find out what they do really well. We only want to find their strengths.

· Your child can’t give the wrong answer. There is no such thing as a right or a wrong answer. Whatever answer they give to any question, is the right one for them, at that time. In this way, every answer is perfectly valid.

· We will save you child so much time. There are thousands of courses out there, in so many colleges. We research each course for your child, selecting the courses and colleges that are most suitable for them, and putting these choices in priority. Students are less familiar with the career system and can spend many hours and days doing research; valuable time that could be spent studying. We cut through all this time and worry by clarifying the whole process for your child, and also for you, the parent.

· This assessment is objective. We assess your child independently. We are not swayed by you the parent or any outside influence. Your child is our client, and we are focusing uniquely on him or her, on her or his unique skills and talents.


+Do you look at other options besides College?

Yes, we look at every training option open to your child. We open our course exploration out to include all types of College choices – Universities, Institutes of Technology, Post Leaving Cert courses, Professional Training, and Apprenticeships. However, we find in some instances that students are only willing to look at one or two options and hesitate to broaden out their choice. They therefore miss out on exciting career opportunities. It is always very helpful when parents encourage their children to be as open minded as possible before doing the Career Assessment System.


+Can you help my child choose university or college courses as well as the CAO?

Yes! We have extensive knowledge of the Third Level system within Ireland. We fully assess your child and then identify the courses that are most suitable to them. We also look at which educational environment would suit them best, whether university, IT or training colleges. We very often apply to a number of educational facilities! We help your child decides which course they would like most and then establish their priorities (please see the Safety Net System) Please note however that we do not provide advice on filling out CAO forms in an isolated service. We carry out a full career assessment so that we are fully informed to enable your child to make their very best career decision.


+Do you offer Skype calls?

Yes we do! As many of our clients are based all over the country, and often outside Ireland, it is far easier for them to work with us on line. We also offer Skype consultations outside working hours during weekday evenings. If your child is under 18 you just need to make sure that you the parent, or a guardian, is available at the end of the session, so that we can fill you in on how we worked with your child. You just need to have a good broadband connection and access to a laptop as our career consultation will last 2 hours.


+Is there anything I need to do as a parent?

Yes! Your role as a parent is really important. All we need you to do is to inform your child about our service. (You can access our website and read our client stories) The most important thing is that your child wants to go through this process. They need to know that this is not school work or homework; this is a service designed uniquely to help them. They are our clients. If the student is enthusiastic to do this, the process becomes fun and inspiring.
In the case of secondary school students who are 18 or under, we like to know that there is at least one parent involved. In this case, we like to also do a feedback to you, the parent. There are many benefits to your participation in this process: You can rest assured that your child is advised by a counsellor who has in-depth knowledge of the careers area, and who has over 20 years’ experience of working with thousands of students just like yours.
When your son or daughter completes a Psychometric assessment, you are assured that the results produced are as a result of your child’s consistent choices.Your daughter or son is given the opportunity to be evaluated and consulted by someone who is objective.You can trust that your child is making the choice which reflects their real potential.

By going through this process with your child, you can test out and verify the instincts you have had around what career areas may best suit your child.

You can be confident that your child will be exposed to the widest number of career choices, possibly even to careers they have never thought of.

You have peace of mind in knowing that you have helped your child as much as possible in making their career choice by providing them with objective and expert career advice.

You feel part of the loop. You are involved in the process from day one. You attend the feedback session and therefore know exactly what the career plan is. Should your child need your input in the future, you are in a far better position to provide it.


+My Child isn’t doing well academically at school, is there any point in them coming to you?
Absolutely! It is important to know that the notion of intelligence is much broader than we think. Your child might be excellent in an intelligence that they never got a chance to develop in school. Our natural intelligence assessments will assess your child for 22 intelligences. It is highly likely that we would find an intelligence that she/he is very strong in and that they can use to best effect in the workplace. For example, we test for animal intelligence. Animal intelligence is the innate understanding of animals. This indicates that this client will be extremely good at handling animals, and animals will be very comfortable around them. This type of intelligence is not recognised within our educational system but it is very important to know from a careers point of view. We find that students use these intelligences so naturally, they do not even realise they have them. Through our process, students very often discover new intelligences that they possess and learn how they can use these in the workplace.


+We have had issues with our child. They have problems in School. Is it a waste of time and money to bring them to you?

Absolutely not. In very many cases, students discover that aspects of their personality that they thought were problematic are, in fact, strengths. For example we were contacted by parents whose daughter created many problems in school. Her issue was that she found it very hard to sit through all of her classes. She was constantly moving about and talking to and distracting other students.
She got the reputation of being a disruptive and uncooperative student. Her career prospects did not seem to be the brightest. When we assessed her, we found that she just adored being with other people full. She was a little Dynamo and loved being extremely busy and moving about. The slower and structured rhythm of school did not seem to suit her at all.
She discovered through the Career Assessment System that she would be extremely happy working in an area where she was constantly busy, constantly multitasking and preferably travelling around the world.
Today she is a very busy Event Organiser, who owns at least three mobile phones and is rarely to be found in Ireland, as she is constantly travelling around the world, talking to everybody she meets as she goes! We worked with this student at the start of 5th year. We explained to her that she may find the rest of 5th year and 6th year a challenge, but there was light at the end of the tunnel!
If she cooperated in school and focused on her leaving cert, she could then access courses and particularly a career that would suit her. We found that once the students had a career plan, she could relax much more and adapt more to school. She learned that there is nothing inherently wrong with her personality, it just did not fit in with the school rhythm. Once she understood this dynamic, she could apply some of the tips and skills that we shared with her.
We can’t say that 5th and 6th year were possibly the favourite times of her life, but we can say that she progressed to Leaving Cert and very much beyond! Having said this, it is very important to inform us of any difficulties that your child is experiencing in school especially if they are under medical or psychiatric supervision. We have worked with many students who have learning challenges, however some scenarios are better handled by a specialist expert in that particular field.