Without doubt, schools and universities have, in recent years, been updating their careers advisory offerings. If you want to know about specific roles and sectors there are some fantastic resources available today. However, I work with lots of students who say to me there are still two areas of careers advice that they feel is still not being addressed.
‘I don’t know what I want to do!’ and ‘I still don’t know how to ‘sell’ myself to a potential employer’.
Only half of UK students end up working in a field related to their degree, so there is a real need to help students find out what they really want to do. Within their first 10 years at work, it is expected that people entering the world of work now will change jobs at least four times. They won’t just be changing jobs either, many will be transitioning into entirely different sectors.
One of the biggest complaints made to me by my student clients is that they feel that no one is listening to them. They feel that their parents in particular have a life-plan for them and they find it really hard to persuade other people to recognise that they might have their own ideas.
So if we genuinely wish to see students start to flourish and ‘reach their potential’, a phrase used in almost every school and university literature, then it is really important that students are equipped with the tools needed to plan and manage their careers for themselves.
What I do is work with students, either on a one-to-one basis, or in small groups, to pass on a methodology that allows them to understand things like what authentic capabilities they possess, what their values, goals, preferred working environments, and skills are. We then start to unravel possible career options and find out how to ‘network’ and ‘research’ within our chosen areas of interest. We then look at how we can secure a meaningful first step on the career path. This ensures students have direction, high levels of self-esteem and resilience, an ability to present themselves on paper, orally and on-line, and know what they want to do!
I don’t use psychometric tests to understand a client’s personality, for two main reasons. Firstly, students have enough exams going on and computer-based assessments can feel like just another ‘test’ and secondly, what employers are looking for is someone who can articulate their value to that employer, someone who can tell a story to get across their capabilities, and someone who can stand out from the crowd. When I have been able to speak to an employer who has interviewed one of my clients, they tell me that my client was the one they remembered as being different, authentic, confident, and able to demonstrate their potential. Guess who was given a second interview?!
If you would like to find out if I could be of use to you personally or your school’s/university’s careers support, please give me a ring on 07884 365 054 or email email@example.com
“My son Charlie (18) was at a crossroads after not getting the results he’d hoped for in his A-Levels. Nicholas was recommended to me by a family friend and spent two days with Charlie. The results were really impressive. Charlie now knows what he wants to do….Nicholas helped him to find direction and focus when he was really struggling.”