Boarding Schools Expo marketing communications specialist, Kim V. Goldsmith is mum to a school leaver. She gives a somewhat light-hearted take on the serious topic of what it takes to get your soon-to-be ex-boarding, school leaver ready to enter the ‘real’ world.
You endure 13 years of school, along with the endless paperwork and appointments that go with educating your child, and then it’s all over…or not. Your school leaver is focussed on nothing but end-of-school celebrations and where they’ll spend the summer before gap year plans or uni starts in the New Year, while you realise they aren’t set up yet to get a job, go to uni, or apply for youth or living away from home allowances. Somewhere along the line, you slipped up on the paperwork!
Even our accountant groaned when I mentioned the list to him.
So if like me, you neglected to wean your child off your family Medicare card when they turned 15, you’ll probably think that’s going to be hardest part about cutting the metaphoric apron strings – the filling in of forms, queuing at Centrelink, setting up myGov online accounts with their endless amounts of identity verification and security questions.
Oh, but then there are reminders from people like Ryan Taylor of Financial Literacy for Young Australians about things like bank accounts that are suitable for young adults (not those youth saver accounts for primary school kids), Tax File Numbers (that you could once organise through schools, but discontinued a few years ago), superannuation fund arrangements…and not to forget private health insurance cards, resumes, and even social media profiles. Even our accountant groaned when I mentioned the list to him.
I started on my checklist as said school leaver was going into stu-vac, just prior to the HSC. Two weeks later, after waiting for her identity to be verified for a new bank account, because, you know, a drivers licence, passport, and birth certificate aren’t enough, you also have to go the local post office. Get ready for it though, because you’ll also have to go a designated post office for the Tax File Number application lodgement, and Centrelink for the Medicare card transfer (you can’t do this one on the app).
A tip: start early
Think about the chain of events before you start…and start early. You can’t complete the Medicare card without having a linked bank account. Easier to get it right the first time rather than have to update anything because that’ll mean more forms and security checks. So, by the time the identity is verified, the paperwork received in the mail and the account activated, the holidays are over. We now have to wait until the school leaver comes home again. Joy.
Another tip: You can leave your child on your card even if they have their own. Why? Some use this as legal evidence the child belongs to them in case of an accident or emergency. We didn’t do that, not really having thought it through…and I thought we trying to cut apron strings. Worth considering though.
- Bank account (transaction account + savings account – preferably with no account fees and saving incentives in the form of OK interest)
- Medicare card + private health insurance card
- Tax File Number
- A plan for what superannuation fund to apply for when you get that first job (as there’s nothing worse than lots of super accounts)
- Copies of all relevant identification for future infuriating identity validation purposes – have scans of the originals for when you put them somewhere safe and can’t find them quickly
What about the social media profile?
When was the last time you did an online identity check on your teen? I’ve done this with some parents in my social media training programs. It can be hair curling. So, what do you think your darling’s prospective employers will see when they Google their name? It’s time you found out…and check images too. Do it together.
Seriously, clean up the online profiles. Some kids have it pretty screwed down, but you only need more than one social media follower for something you preferred to be private to be tagged and made public. Employers do social media account checks, and plenty of people have not been considered in long or short-lists for jobs because of an inappropriate profile photo or post.
If your teen is particularly serious about career building too, think about a LinkedIn profile, not just as an extension to their resume but as a way to meet professionals in the field they’re interested in going into – even in agriculture and various trade-based industries. It’s today’s business card. You can follow some very impressive people and subjects areas on LinkedIn…and it isn’t considered stalking.
- Use some of the comparison sites to check out financial service offerings – sites like InfoChoice, Canstar, Mozo.
- Applying for a Tax File Number
- Application to transfer from one Medicare card to another
- myGov – with links to the many Federal Government services
- Talk to your financial advisor or accountant about what is the best super fund for your child.
- Make sure you have digital copies of bank account details, drivers licences, passports, birth certificates as well as the originals in a safe place. It also pays to have the Tax File Number and super details in a safe digital space too for when your school leaver is filling in forms.
- Resume resources include: resume templates (Vic Govt) and CV templates (Open Colleges)
- LinkedIn (professional and business-to-business social networking)