Karen Lomas
February 14, 2022

Career tips for Students – Study Habits and Career Planning

Here’s a new “quick career tips for students” blog post on the topic of study habits and career planning. This is just when students need it – at the start of the new academic year.

We decided it was the right time to share this careers blog post. School-age students have returned to school all around Australia, in recent weeks. Tertiary-level students are just preparing to commence. This post is for any children and young adults who are organising their routines and receiving homework tasks, so that’s primary school-age children as well.

Lots of parents ask us about how to help their children with learning activities that they bring home with them. Homework, or assignments set by teachers and lecturers to be carried out outside of school hours, can be hard to prioritise.How can you help them with their organisation and study habits?

We are all different!

Some of us are keen to get homework or study tasks out of the way and move on to other activities afterwards. Others like to leave assignments to later. There is no right or wrong way. In fact, each of us has an optimal time in our days to concentrate. That’s when we perform at our best.

I recall my own children being very different in that regard. One of them wanted to rest, or carry out other activities before studying, or completing projects. The other was what her school Principal referred to as a “Five-Past-Four-er“. She would come home, grab a snack and start her homework straight away. That was what suited her best. It was her ‘personal style’ or preferred way to operate.

Weeknights can be busy for students who may also have a part-time job, or after-school sports, for example. So how can you help? Here are a few quick time-management tips for you to help your child with their study routines:

Time Management

  • start early and lead by example – making lists of your own activities/prioritising your tasks
  • ask them to help plan meals, gardening activities, weekend camping trips and to write shopping/packing lists and plan the shopping trip, food preparation/packing/planting
  • ask them when they feel they can concentrate best and ask them to choose when and for how long they are able to focus before and between breaks
  • if they don’t use a diary, or calendar, shop for a paper diary, or find out if their school has student diaries – this or a table/activity planner helps your child to manage their time
  • older students may have access to digital calendars – encourage them to start using this early in the year so they can get used to how to navigate it
  • discuss their other after-school activities and commitments they have in their diaries – you can then help them to allocate a good time to their studies
  • for visual learners they might colour-code their diary or digital planners, for example – Green for Study, Red for Sports Practice/Matches, Pink for Chores/Blue for Subject Selection and Career Activities, etc
  • there’s no need to suggest “rewards” – research tells us that surprises are great, ie the very occasional treat, but that the promise of anything beyond regular encouragement can in fact backfire (I’ll tell you more about this research into self-efficacy and motivation in an upcoming blog)
  • suggest that their unsupervised leisure activities, such as watching an episode of their favourite show, or chatting to/catching up with their friends, can be scheduled by, for example, recording the tv episode and by forward planning (for younger children you can coordinate this with the parents of your child’s friend so that it works for both children)
  • even if they say; “I know, I’ve got this”, be available to them; show an interest – they will appreciate you giving them your attention at meal times, or in the car

An early introduction to time management and planning is a great way of giving your child the tools to be a planner in the future. With Career Planning, especially at secondary school level and through into higher education, the same applies as with organising their study routine. Again, start early.

This is where career coaching can benefit them. It’s much the same as with subject tutoring – sometimes external support helps YOU to help your child. A parent cannot always support every aspect of their children’s progress. After all, a coach is needed for footy training, or for ballet skills. Don’t be afraid to seek and secure this external support.

And don’t forget that transitions often generate a few nerves. You know this yourself. Remember your first day at high school, or college, when everything seemed so big and strange? Your help is so valuable and your child will appreciate your contribution, no matter how small it may seem to you.

We are here to help you and your child with good study habits and timely career planning. You can reach us by going to our website, www.karenyourcareercoach.com.au, or fill out this form to ask a question: https://form.jotform.com/213455528811860

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