Today marks the beginning of National Careers Week and it got me thinking about my earliest career aspiration memory.
Aged 14 I know for a fact that being a CEO of a national youth charity in my early 40s was not at the forefront of my mind. In fact, I know I wanted to become a computer games designer! I LOVED computer games, so much so I use to storyboard films I liked into platform computer games before the likes of Sega made it a reality.
I remember doing a tiny bit of research aged 12 or 13 and being informed that I needed to be really good at maths (which I wasn’t then) to pursue that career path. So I parked the aspiration. Rather than shutting the door on reflection, I wish I had the support, courage and insight to understand what I needed to do to give it a go.
Instead I ended up pursuing another passion of mine which was media, communications and storytelling. I studied journalism at university and by now I had expected to be an editor of some cool men’s lifestyle magazine.
However, about a decade into my career I lost my passion for the media industry and decided to be bold and follow yet another passion which is young people and empowering them to be all they can.
The average person will spend about 70,000 hours at work, which is a significant chunk of a lifetime. With this point in mind, my career choices have always been about doing something that I’m either very good at and/or passionate about.
At Career Ready one of our key aims is to empower young people to make informed decisions about their future careers. We expose them to professions across a variety of industries they may never have heard of before. And we help them join the dots between a passion of theirs and how that can be a launchpad into a particular career path or sector.
My one piece of advice to young people today is to be curious, your parents, peers and teachers will not have all the answers. Identify what you are good at and explore what you have a passion for and use that shortlist to help you navigate your career journey.
Hopefully in this National Careers Week many young people across the UK will get to experience a life defining “ah ha!” moment. For those of us already in careers let’s use this week as an opportunity to share some wisdom and support this generation to be all they can be.