A career development program for youth should give them the skills, confidence and experience to transform into proactive career self-developers. This is the long-term term view.
Helping them find answers to specific questions about the next two to four years is also important, but this is the short-term view.
Getting the short-term view right is important, because it helps youth: 1) align their strengths, values and interests with opportunities in the workplace; 2) succeed academically; 3) have a competitive advantage over their peers, and 4) enjoy themselves.
When I work with youth, I am thrilled to help them enjoy these benefits. However, I am even more interested in the long-term view.
The long term view is the opportunity to transform youth into proactive career self-developers. By making this change, they can access even greater benefits, such as landing a great job, gaining career capital quickly, proactively addressing job dissatisfaction, making good career decisions and systematically taking on bigger and bigger challenges.
Given that the benefits of the long-term view outweigh the benefits of the short-term view, it’s important to focus on the transformation of youth, rather than on a few on a few short-term questions.