Saturday, 21 November 2009


A pondering that has welled up inside me recently.....

Does anyone EVER get good careers advice? All I remember was filling in a questionnaire at school when I was about 15 and the result produced that told me I should work for the Forestry Commission. Everyone that ticked the 'wouldn't mind working outside' box got that answer. I think it was of no use whatsoever.

I also know that I have only ever known about a tiny fraction of the jobs that exist out there. I knew about doctors, teachers, police, nurses, vets, train drivers, air traffic controllers (only because my dad was one), pilots (we lived near Gatwick) and shopkeepers and that was about it. I might have done something other than teaching, if something else had been suggested to me. Mind you, I have never seen 'Sex and Relationships Education Development Worker' on a list of careers and that's what I am now.

I also wonder whether it's good to train in something vocational early on (so you always have that to fall back on) or to wait and get to know yourself a bit better and then see which glove fits best or will this be different for everyone?

Surely one of the most important things in any one's life is to find a fulfilling job that channels an individual's skills and interest? Why do we not give more time and effort to educating young people to have an understanding of their individual talents and passions and suggesting suitable career routes? If we are meant to be giving young people aspirations - it would certainly be a good place to start!

Perhaps there is better careers advice out there now, but I haven't seen any evidence of it.


  1. I agree with this one entirely. I never got any good career advice either.

    I think that nowadays there are better arrays of psychological test that can help steer you in the right direction, but they can only serve as an aid to exper, personal sounsel, I think.

  2. Me and Jim talk about this a lot. We got no careers advice at all although I do remember a single "careers lesson" at Court Lodge where I flicked through an alphabetical index box of jobs like nurse, pilot, bus driver...and chose zookeeper. Oh, and I was told, "You're good at English, go to university and do that." Actually I was crap at English lit and could only approach it by doing in a sort of scientific way (hence why I only read 2 books at uni). Anyway, me and Jim moan about it a lot and blame all our troubles on it (victims victims). There is a fab scene in Kes where Billy goes to see the careers officer and is asked (only) "Well, lad, do you want an office job or manual?" Good old 1960s.


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