For sixteen and seventeen year olds about to make some important life decisions, it is very easy to be distracted by all the advice they receive. Much of that advice will be about which degree they should study or which university they should go to. If they’re lucky, they’ll get advice on what careers they should think about.
However, that isn’t all the advice they need. Crucially, nobody ever seems to ask young people about the sort of life they want to lead. It’s all very well going to the right university and getting a high paying job, but what if the lifestyle that goes with that job is one that you end up hating.
As adults, I’m sure we all know people who have the job they always wanted, but hate their lifestyle. Maybe the hours they work are too long for them to see their family. Maybe they have to work in London and spend four hours a day commuting. Maybe the job didn’t turn out to be everything the glossy brochures and websites said it would be. Maybe university was great, but now that student loan looks like it will never be paid off.
I recently ran a session at Tavistock College that helped year 13 students to think through these issues so that they are better equipped to make the right choices.
“Mark Poles ran a highly stimulating, lively and enlightening session on career choices and how to ‘get the future you want’ for our sixth form students. He started by considering what you want out of life, not just out of a job, and opened students’ eyes to the full range of life factors to consider in making key decisions about your future. The session was both engaging and amusing, and thought-provoking and pragmatic. It was praised by students, many of whom remarked that they would re-think some of their plans in light of the presentation. Mark then ran a smaller, practical session that gave students an opportunity to role play and discuss the reality of applying and interviewing for jobs, and then working in an office, with the inevitable politics that this involves. Again, the session was appreciated and praised by students for its engaging usefulness.”
– James O’Connell, Assistant Principal