“What are you doing at the end of Grade 12?” This is often the go to question when family friends are trying to strike up conversation with Young People. The assumption being that they are studying hard and are having the time of their life. Those of us on the other side of High School, in particular, if you’re anything like me, have years of experience ‘out in the real world’, still hold the fond memories of our school life and things never being the same again on the other side. (Maybe I was a one of a kind; I was at school for the social life... wasn’t everyone?)


Today is so different to when we were growing up. Back then you could walk into a business, ask for a job and walk out with it. There was also the expectation, if you went to Uni, you would finish your degree and also walk straight into a job. This isn’t necessarily so today.

Yet there appears to be so many more decisions to make with pressure to choose the right pathway and not a great deal of help out there to navigate the so called opportunities. Schools do have Support Staff, like the Guidance Officer, Chaplains, Behaviour and Learning Support, however all are under the pump and don’t have the time required to invest in the Young Person’s journey towards their career opportunities.


Life Coaches do however! Hi I'm Deb James, and this is what truly rocks my world. I absolutely love working with Young People and seeing their 'Spark' be lit!

My very motivation for launching my service Intent by Design; The Youth Empowerment Effect.


I recently had a parent contact me, as she was so concerned about her daughter and her mental distress. She noticed her Girl’s happy, ‘go lucky’ outlook on life was diminishing, and she was becoming snappier than usual. One afternoon her daughter walked in from school and broke down in tears. She eventually shared how stressed she was over decisions about the following year and where to even start with Uni choices.

Many Young People are asking the following questions;

  • What do I do? I have no idea

  • Do I have to go to Uni?

  • What type of job will I get? How do I get that job?

  • What do I put in a resume when I don’t have any experience?

  • What about Uni? What degree is best for me?

  • What are the differences in Universities?

  • I don’t even know what my options are?


To skip to the end result with this Young Person, in a short time of coaching, she knew what she wanted to do, which degrees would get her to where she wanted to be and at which universities she would apply for. She had clarity and was empowered.

We had explored:

  • All the different employment possibilities aligned to the degrees she was considering,

  • Future hopes & dreams other than career,

  • Pathway differences & expected salaries, aligning with her future hopes and dreams,

  • A visual and realistic pathway, with stepping stones into employment, scaffolding up to her dream career.

One of the sessions I had her visualise what see wanted her future to look like and then write it down as though it was a letter written to herself from the future. I asked her to read it out aloud to me. She began a little timid at first, so I shared my experience with the same activity. As she began to read, she became bolder and more confident. The smile that came across her face and her energy was priceless! Beautiful for me to witness, POWERFUL for her to have not only written it, but to have spoken it out loud and shared it with another.


Through putting a framework and strategy to the approach, Young People can gain massive clarity and even greater excitement and enthusiasm for their future. They have all the answers within them; they just need a little assistance in drawing it out.

Is your Young Person appearing stressed?

Are they clear about the opportunities available to them?

Could they benefit from outside counsel to help guide their course?

Get the conversation going early. Start exploring their options as they are making subject choices.

I would love to help out and see that stress decrease!

Certainly if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us


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