Career planning for teens and pre-teens

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A report by Alexandra Simon for Caribbean Life News.

Getting a head start on your career.

Author and educator Tai Abrams is helping young kids and teens prioritize their futures with her self-help guidebook. Her book “Who Am I? An A-Z Career Guide for Teens,” is an introductory manual aimed at teaching students 10 to 19 years old, how to obtain skills and amplify them in their job search. It provides thorough information that students will find useful in every aspect of school and career searching.

“It’s a wonderful A through Z guide on the future of industries, how to market yourself, and working on your resume,” said Abrams. “This book is a big push to build and prepare for it all.”

She discusses everything from school choice, college applying, how to get the skills needed for specific jobs, and what a student can do during their school years to ensure they find work and internships after their schooling.

Abrams says the best time to encourage young kids about college and careers is during their formal education years. She adds that this is especially important because there is going to be a huge a shift in many career fields in the coming years, and the young generation has to be prepared to adapt and assimilate accordingly.

“Close to 65 percent of jobs that exist today won’t exist in several years, so a lot of kids are preparing for jobs that don’t exist,” said Abrams.

With many inspired by and trying to achieve the success stories of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, Abrams said that early stimulation was a major key to accomplishing those feats because those men were able to flesh out their skills during their primary to middle school years and already began working towards where they are now.

“A lot of those millionaires and billionaires had a significant head start — Zuckerberg began coding when he was 10 and by the time he got to Harvard he was already prepared,” she said.

At those young and eager ages, students start discovering what they want to do in life, according to Abrams. To activate those interests, the book has writing prompts that aim to tap into this mindset.

“In middle school, children are more curious and that’s also when they start thinking about their high school choices and networking themselves, so I challenge them to think of a big problem and I want them to come with proposals to master a skill they would need,” she said.

Readers in their twenties can also potentially find valuable tips for themselves, and even parents who do not always have the time or resources to seek the direction of school counselors. Abrams said the feedback from them in particular is important, because a knowledgeable parent can help build a stronger support system for the student.

“Parents are learning a lot of stuff too — the whole family can have conversations about the economic future of their child, and ensure they’re on the road to graduating,” said Abrams. “This book will get parents to expand their awareness.”

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