I’ve been sat with a half-written blog post for the past couple of weeks. It was the same theme as always, reflecting on the month before and although I enjoy writing I just didn’t know where I was going with the post. It felt like it was going on and the point I really wanted to make, I wasn’t making.
I’m sitting down to write this on a sunny Sunday morning listening to the soundtrack from A Star is Born – still digesting my feelings from watching it for the first time last night.
Basically, the beginning of January was great. I delivered my first Digital Advantage programme at Lancaster & Morecambe College, working with a great group of students who really do have lots of skills we can hone in on but guess what? They don’t realise it or believe that they do.
For 3 of the days I was fortunate to be joined by Randi from YouX who is engaging with young people worldwide to help them uncover their value and what roles may be best suited to them. This is a refreshing way to approach ‘careers advice’ and something I am hoping to find out more about.
Who remembers the advice they received? These are three things I remember from my ‘careers advice’.
“You can’t be a teacher just because you want to be off in the school holidays.” aged around 14.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” aged around 15.
“I like watching adverts so I’ll do a marketing degree at university.” aged around 17.
I was a teenager, still trying to understand who I was, never mind what ‘career’ I wanted. I still believe there is an expectation for kids to know what they ‘want to be when they’re older’. Hands up if you still don’t know the answer to that question?
For many years I tried figuring out what I ‘wanted to be when I was older’ and you know what? I’ve realised that whatever ‘job’ I do doesn’t define me, it’s just one part of my whole self. If I was asked the question now I’d say I want to be;
- a parent
- a homeowner
- able to travel
- help other people
This list could go on. Rather than expecting our teenagers to know what they want to ‘be’ in terms of a job, how about we help them identify how they want to feel, what they’re good at, enjoy doing and match it up with potential roles, whilst at the same time reminding them that their job title doesn’t define them or their perceived worth.
To be continued….