As the annual results days draw closer and closer we wanted to share our thoughts on careers, options and the future. We know very well from our own experience that when you receive those results for your GCSE’s or A Levels there is so much that will be going through your mind… University, job, resit, apprenticeships, college or even travelling and seeing the world…So many choices and options, how do I know what is the best thing to do and is it the right choice for me?
Instead of writing a long blog about all the different options, which we know there is a wealth of information out there from every possible source imaginable, we just asked people. We asked people who have made those choices, people who are well into their career paths and have made big decisions at various different stages of their careers. Who better to explain that not every choice you make is final than those who have experienced the changes and sometimes taken chances.
We asked them
“What piece of helpful advice about your career, or work in general, do you wish you had received at 16?”
and below are the responses we received…
“Never be embarrassed about where you earn your money, we all have to start somewhere and if you have to flip burgers make sure they are the best burgers ever flipped!” – Natasha – Business Manager
“I wish I’d had better sight of what training outside my day job was available to me and crucially, someone who could help me use that training to think about my future. Nothing beats finding somebody who is willing to share their skills, knowledge and experience as you are starting to grow your own!” – Mark – Operations Director
“Explore as many options and employers as possible to see what sort of career you might want” – Robert – Partnership Consultant
“There are great alternatives to the traditional educational route. I was so unaware of other options at school” – Sarah – International Coach and Entrepreneur
“Make up your own mind about what you want to do. Not what your parents tell you to do and do not be bullied by your peer group to join them” – Tracy – Business Development Manager
“Work hard. Sometimes you will come across obstacles but you will get past them. Failing at something isn’t the end of the world and it will help you to grow as a person. Find something you are passionate about and want to succeed in!” – Erika – Learner Mentor
“Listen to your heart, do what you want to do and be happy! Don’t follow the crowd” – Michelle – Account Executive
“Experiment … That’s how you get to see what you love and what you are great at. A job you don’t like is great experience too because its good learning, Keep changing and pivoting until you are doing what you want, and remember careers advisors and teachers are not aware of all the jobs in the local marketplace. Go to a careers site and explore all the different jobs that you can do. When you know what you want it is easier to get there. Know your transferable skills” – Sarah – Business Owner
“Never give up! Keep going! – Jake – Internal Recruitment Advisor
“If you are just venturing out into the world of work then find a business that excites you as you will find it much easier to work for a company that genuinely interests you. If you want to run your own business, fail fast and move on! Don’t be afraid of failure, its how we learn and grow. If you are passionate about an idea the worst that can happen is that you shut it down and start again. How many times did Edison fail before he invented the light bulb?” – Lee – Managing Director
“Work hard, Believe in yourself and stand out from the crowd!” – Tanya – Business Development Manager
“Stick with it. Whatever your choice, see it out until the end to be sure its the right path for you. If not, at least you have given it a good go and not quit when the hurdles get too high!” – Nicki – Recruitment Executive
“Educate yourself. College / 6th form aren’t the only options. Speak to your family, friends, friends parents or anyone who will listen / talk about their career. Make your decision an educated one!” – Luke – Head of Engagement
“Follow your dreams, work hard to achieve them, the only one who can stop you is you!” – Steve – Account Manager
There are so many decisions to make at the start of your career journey, but they don’t have to all be made at once and they certainly are not final. People will change direction numerous times throughout their career journey, as you can see from the responses above. It is all part of the ‘fun’ and discovering where your skills are best utilised and most importantly where you are happy. With this in mind there is something else to consider when you are making these life changing decisions. A massive part of how we can reach our potential, is belief and believing in your ability to do something can help to drive you forwards. However sometimes we limit our beliefs and we convince ourselves that we can not do something, this can become a big barrier to achieving our goals. An expert in setting personal goals is Sarah Gregg (Founder of The Power to Reinvent). Sarah has written many blogs and has her own website which successfully supports and guides people from all walks of life to set and achieve their goals. Sarah has recently recorded a podcast which we think is really informative and a useful tool to overcoming hurdles. You can listen to Sarah’s podcast through the links below:
The most important thing to remember is have confidence in yourself, be happy and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Good luck!!