High School can be a confusing time for adolescents as they try to figure out what they want to do with their lives. The decisions teenagers make during their school time can have a significant impact on their future careers and success.
Studies have shown that humans learn by observing and modelling the behaviours of others. During adolescence, experiences from people and surroundings accumulate and help teenagers to develop an understanding of what is socially acceptable behaviour and what isn’t.
Role Models Can Have Positive and Negative Impact Too
So, learning experiences from family members, friends, teachers, counselors can be instrumental in developing career aspirations, educational goals and consumer behaviours too. This means role models could not only have a positive impact, but also a negative impact on teenage students. For instance, if a teenager’s role model is a celebrity who engages in substance abuse or illegal activities, the teenager may be more likely to emulate these behaviours. This could lead to a range of negative outcomes, including addiction, criminal behaviour and mental health problems.
On the other hand, positive role models & mentors boost teenagers’ motivation by modelling a guide to achieving success. They have the ability to:
1) inspire students with their own journeys and success stories and instil in them the confidence to pursue their dream careers. This could be extremely helpful for teenage students who may not have exposure to a wide range of careers.
2) guide and advise students on how to navigate challenges like making a career decision. For instance, our mentors at Unherd.in offer insights into various career options, share their knowledge about their own industry and provide career advice on how to prepare for a particular profession.
3) provide exposure that students otherwise may not get to experience in their school. By introducing them to new fields, job shadowing opportunities and internships, they can help students to explore careers and gain real-world experience – an opportunity not easily found in schools.
4) develop skills and knowledge among students that would help them to succeed in their chosen careers. When we are working on our industry programs, we make sure the mentors give training that helps students to develop skills like communication, presentation, collaboration, as well as technical skills specific to the industry. These skill trainings are valuable for teenagers to get a taste of the industry and reflect to see if these industry skills match their potential, interest and aptitude.
5) build a network that could be beneficial for students in their career pursuits, internship opportunities and further career advancement. In addition, networking could be valuable for high schoolers who may not have access to industry professionals through their families and communities.
Connecting teenagers with the right mentors and role models is a challenging task. It requires a safe and supportive learning environment with the right professional guidance. For instance, at Unherd.in we take the time to learn about each mentor’s life journey, personality, and motivations for wanting to mentor teenagers.
Additionally, there are other ways to bring positive role models into teenagers’ lives, such as encouraging them to read, participate in social initiatives, and discuss their inspirations/role models with them. End of the day, choose an option that aligns with your child’s unique personality, preferences and interests.