From Results to a Career – Advice from the Experts24th August 2020
Receiving Year 11 or 13 grade assessments can be a daunting time for many; the culmination of two years’ hard work and study distilled to numbers/letters on a piece of paper. This year of course is like no other. Students have received grades without the chance for that last-minute cramming before the final exams. The results they receive might very well be different to those they had imagined this time last year.
We must look at this period as an exciting one – a glimpse into the future and the start of the process of thinking about career paths and dream jobs.
As the Jewish community’s leading employment and business support organisation, touching the lives of over 2,000 people each year, Work Avenue helps those of all ages think about what comes next.
For young people, at this stage, it’s about recognising your strengths and the areas you excel in.
Whatever results you received, there will be so many doors open to you right now. The key is not to rake over the past by spending time worrying about your grades, but to look to the future and what comes next.
Maybe you’re heading into Year 12 at your school or going off to sixth form college? Or if you’ve received Year 13 assessments, you’re possibly getting ready to start university, take up an apprenticeship or consider a gap year.
Even if you are disappointed by your grades please don’t let that put you off pursuing your dream career. How many successful entrepreneurs have told the story of their less than ideal academic record?
There is no doubt that although you are going to be more likely to narrow the odds in your favour with a stellar set of GCSEs, A levels and a top-level degree from a leading academic institution, alternative pathways can be considered.
University is not necessarily a prerequisite as many companies will look to hire ambitious and aspirational career starters through different channels.
For example, major accountancy firms, banks and FTSE 100 companies offer both combined university and work placement programmes and apprenticeship programmes from school.
So many professions and industries value drive, passion, hard work and experience as much as grades, so there will always be opportunities for the right person.
Speaking to an employment adviser – whether through your school, college or an organisation like Work Avenue – is a great step to take at this time.
They can help you look at the subjects you enjoy and see which career you would be suited to and might wish to pursue.
Don’t be scared – you certainly don’t have to make career decisions right now – but it can always help you to focus if you have a rough idea of what you might want to do next.
Work experience is something else to look at, even if right now physical placements might not be possible, virtual placements are being offered. Gaining varied work experience during your time in sixth form and university can help you decide which area of employment you might wish to go into. Not only that, but work experience can set your CV apart from others and give you something different to put on a personal statement when applying for university.
Best of all, it creates contacts for the future – so when your job hunting begins you already know people in an industry you may decide to go into.
Finally don’t forget to network and attend careers fairs, even if that has to be done virtually right now. Try to meet as many people as possible, as you never know what doors they will open. Opportunities can often come from the most unlikely and unexpected people.
Above all, try to stay positive and, where possible, seek advice and guidance from experts who can really help you as you continue your education and look to taking those first steps on the career ladder.
To arrange a one-to-one careers advice meeting with a Work Avenue Employment Adviser, visit www.theworkavenue.org.uk/meeting.