July 8, 2024




Career Advice for Teens: Top 10 Tips From Professionals in the Workforce

We asked for the teens and the adults answered! Check out the top career advice for young people.

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, we believe every kid is one caring adult away from realizing their success story. And with thousands of Club kids preparing to enter the workforce for the first time, we asked professionals one simple question: what’s their top piece of career advice?

From dreaming boldly to continuous learning, we asked professionals from all walks of life to share their diverse insights and valuable lessons they’ve learned throughout their careers. Here’s what they had to say:

 1. Dream Boldly.

Chase your dreams with confidence and determination. The secret to success? Never give up. Don’t let anyone else put limits on your aspirations. Remember, every great journey starts with a bold dream.

A generation of go-getters: 93% of 11th and 12th graders at Clubs say they know what education or training they need for the career they want and 91% know the costs to expect.

2. Embrace Education and Hard Work.

Success is built on a foundation of learning and dedication. It’s important to recognize that education doesn’t end in the classroom; it’s an ongoing journey.


3. Seek a Mentor.

Finding guidance makes the journey smoother. Mentors offer invaluable advice and support, helping you avoid common mistakes and cheering you on. Boys & Girls Clubs help connect kids and teens with caring adults who are there to believe in them and help them reach their full potential.

Did you know? Kids in youth mentoring programs are also more than 50% less likely to skip school.

4. Pursue Passion and Purpose.

Choose a career that matches your interests and ignites your passions. It’s this passion for your work that often inspires others to believe in you and take that chance.


5. Practice Respect and Kindness.

These qualities matter in every interaction. Through modeling kindness and respect, Clubs nurture youth into empathetic and responsible adults, which is essential in creating a supportive work environment.


Kindness counts: When making a decision, 85% of Club youth think about how other people will be affected.

6. Develop Listening Skills.

Being a good listener is key in any job. “Be a sponge, soak it all up. Come in to listen to observe, and then listen to act and respond,” says Sherry McCaskill, College Programs Diversity and Employment Branding Manager at Toyota, a Boys & Girls Clubs national partner. She points out the importance of diversity of thought in the workplace, which fosters innovation, broadens perspectives, and enhances problem-solving skills.

7. Commit to Helping Others.

Consider a career that allows you to give back. Today’s young professionals are driven by strong values and want their employers to do the same. In fact, Gen Z teens are compassionate and empathetic, with 83% reporting they’ve done something to help others. Contributing to the community not only supports others in need but also brings a deep sense of personal fulfillment.


8. Strengthen Your Soft Skills.

Soft skills, like good communication and teamwork, are really important for advancing your career. Practicing these skills often, especially when it’s challenging, helps you be more confident at work and in life.


Confident communicators: 9 in 10 teens feel they can express their thoughts and ideas clearly.


9. Build Networks and Stay Informed.

Think of networking as making new friends in your career field. These connections can open up new opportunities, offer great advice, and support you as you grow in your career. Staying informed through your network also keeps you up-to-date with industry trends.

Inclusion in action: 94% of Club youth report feeling comfortable working with people different from themselves.

1. Be Persistent and Believe in  Yourself.

Stay determined and trust in your abilities, especially during tough times. Being persistent is essential for getting past hurdles and reaching your career goals. Patience is key! Know what you want and work for it, but understand it doesn’t have to happen right away. A growth mindset is vital for long-term success and fulfillment in your career path.


Building Great Futures Starts Here.

The path from school to career is full of growth and challenges. Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley helps bridge this gap with Life & Workforce Readiness programs, guiding teens to explore different careers, develop skills, and gain real-life experience. For anyone starting out, having access to good career advice and guidance can be a game-changer.

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