The right answers for students

The right answers for students

Adults should ease back on Year 11 and 12 students and not pressure them into making work and career choices now to ensure students avoid making a decision just to “please their parents”.

End-of-year exams start in one week and finish in mid-November. That means students need to begin thinking about what they want to do with their lives.

Chilli Recruitment general manager Pina Stojko says students face many tough decisions. “Young people are under enormous pressure to decide on the right university degree, TAFE course or job and even whether they should move out of home or interstate for a better opportunity,” she says.

“Parents need to be aware of the pressures young people are under, try providing an open forum for discussion, advice and coaching and try not to be the decision maker.

“This will engage the young person, empowering them to lead and make decisions.”

She says it is important students make a decision that feels right to them. “Young people need to be asked: What interests you now? Who are you now? And less emphasis needs to be given to who or what are you going to be,” Ms Stojko says. “There are many variables they will encounter in their careers that will shape who they become at retirement.”

St Michael’s College Year 11 student Rafael Martins, 16, says he wants to make his own decisions.

“My parents give me advice and sometimes the advice is good. I can relate to it but most of the time they don’t really consider what I’m thinking,” he says.

“At the moment, my parents make decisions for me and I really appreciate them trying to help but I need to make my own decisions and mistakes.”

But Ms Stojko says students still should take advice from their parents.

“I urge young people to consider the advice of parents but ultimately start somewhere,” she says.

“Whether it be a university course or a part-time job, don’t focus too much on where you need to be in five years.

“ Focus on your current desires and set short-term goals.

“This will ease the pressure of deciding on the bigger picture and in the meantime many new doors will open for you.”

She says there is more to being successful than simply having the right qualifications.

“It’s important to remember that while formal qualifications contribute to career success, they, too, must be partnered with relevant skills, determination, reliability, commitment and personal attributes,” she says.

“An eager plumber or secretary can be as highly respected and remunerated in their fields as a medical practitioner or company director can be in theirs.”

Rafael believes his parents will understand his decisions when he makes them.

“I think they will get that it’s my choice. My parents will be able to guide me but it’ll be my decision,” he says.


  • Don’t put too much pressure on status or earning a good living.

  • Focus more on being valued in your chosen field.

  • Take interest in your parents’ experiences but don’t set unrealistic or outdated expectations.

  • It’s OK to be uncertain of your dream job.

  • Set personal and professional goals to drive you forward.

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