Influences on career decisions

Parents have the biggest influence on a child's career choice. Find out who and what else can influence a young person's career decisions.


 Your child may be influenced by:

  • Career choices and interests of their older brother or sister
  • Needs, opinions and work of their parents
  • Family work traditions or family aspirations for the future
  • Limits to your family's experience of different career options
  • Negative beliefs such as “He’ll never amount to anything”, or “I’m a failure and so is she”.


Your child's friends can:

  • Pressure your child to make the same choice as them about careers and leaving school
  • Be good or poor role models   
  • As a boyfriend or girlfriend pressure your child to choose study or a job in their town.


Cultural influences on your child's career choices come from:

  • Their neighbourhood, ethnic group and social group
  • Popular culture such as TV and movies
  • Role models – successful and famous people 
  • Money – lack of money can limit choices
  • Government policy and economics both local and globally.

Teachers/career advisers

Teachers and career advisers can:

  • Inspire, motivate and inform your child 
  • See your child's talent, skills and aptitudes for certain careers
  • Offer resources, work experience opportunities and guidance.


Your child can find career information from:

  • Online career websites, apps and newspapers
  • Career planning and self-help books.

Updated 24 Jan 2019