I remember it well. The nervous anticipation of my next move. I felt like my future was marked out by what results were delivered.
At the moment thousands of pupils are eagerly awaiting their exam results. Thousands are waiting for their letters of acceptance from Colleges and Universities. I know that dread, I have felt that dread but here is what I have learned.
There seems to be a standard path we are expected to follow, school, Uni, work, retire. This path is a myth. There is a reason why so many students either drop out or switch course in their first year and the reason is quite simply that time and experience are what mould us. When I was leaving school I remember many of my friends had a clear plan. I want to be a teacher – I’m going to study teaching, I want to be an electrician so I am going to do an apprenticeship.
Me? I knew what my skills were and what I was interested in. Unfortunately, a career path didn’t jump out at me. I was creative, I loved art and I loved business, absolutely rubbish at maths. So what career would you pick?
So what happens if you don’t love it? Don’t stress! If you decide to go to college why not do an HNC (one year) if you like it great take it further…if you don’t you have at least you have a qualification to show for your time. Go explore your options, and if you want to revisit studying a few years down the line, that’s ok too. This is your path.
You know the common phrase ‘you learn something every day” – well it’s true, no matter what job you are in and no matter what the circumstances are I guarantee you can take positives from it that will help you throughout your career path. Another important point to remember is you have to be prepared to work your way up. Living in a world consumed by social media, it can be difficult to not compare your circumstances to others. If you are comparing your part-time job at Morrisons with an 18-year-old Instagram influencer on a yacht you are going to be severely disappointed with life. Be realistic and focus on YOUR path.
My top tip – One of the best ways to get your foot in the door of a new industry and try to build up some good contacts is through temporary work – check out this link for more info on the benefits of temp work.
I am not going to say qualifications aren’t needed or beneficial. Going on to higher education offers a wealth of benefits and for many career paths are a necessity. That being said, more and more employers value the level of experience you have gained over your qualifications. This links to what I mentioned previously about working your way up in a company. If you are interested in reading some success stories of those who worked up why not click here …after you finish this blog of course!
This is one of the most valuable pieces of information I can give you to set you off on your career path. You never know where or when you will cross paths with someone again especially if you are going to work within a particular industry. The best advice is to keep in touch and never burn your bridges!