How do you help your son/daughter get a decent career? What on earth do you say? Do more qualifications? Get some experience? Nicholas Bate, author of Do What you Want shares his advice.
Any mother wants the best for her child. She wants him/her to be happy, to be healthy and to be wise. Central to that is of course a good career and a significant amount of our time and effort as a parent and increasingly large amounts of our income is spent on ensuring they have the best education to get the best career.
So what went wrong? Why are there no guarantees any more? How come the rules got broken and what on Earth might mothers advise their children?
It is useful to understand how the rules got broken. By ‘rules’ we mean those guidelines which have generally worked in the past such as ‘get a good degree and you will get on a graduate scheme; get on a graduate scheme and you will get experience; get experience and you will start to build your career’. Such rules increasingly no longer apply because of three facts: (1) globalisation which means competion is tougher than ever; (2) the silicon chip which means jobs are being removed wherever possible and (3) as the world adjusts to these facts, economies will be unstable. We can’t change these trends: they just are. And it is best not to wait for them to go away. So what can we do?
We can encourage our children to think differently:
- Help them to understand that the world of work has changed. It’s not that there is no job for life. There may well be simply no job, necessarily.
- Qualifications are increasingly a given. Everybody has a string of GCSEs. Everybody has a degree. Everybody did an internship at Microsoft. But ensure your children do the givens and do them well and try and build up references from every piece of work so that they can start to build their portfolio which can be added to a raw CV.
- Remind them that their soft skills are vital. Are they personable, able to come across well at an interview? Are they able to articulate their views and debate a point? Ensure they keep reading and read widely for variety. The Economist, New Scientist are excellent magazines to have around to stimulate the brain.
- Experience is key. Get work experience and get references. When gaining experience ask to do more. Tell them never to complain but to get good at what they do whether it is being on top of e-mail or making the team the perfect cup of tea.
- Realise that excellence is very attractive to an employer. All employers are looking for really good people. They can’t find them. If your son/daughter decides to get really, really good, they will find a job. And build a career.
- That flexibility is essential to an employer. This is not about working long hours. But this is about turning your hand to what’s necessary, to being sales focused whatever your job and being ‘can do’
- They must be proactive. They must look-no hunt-for a job. Walk the streets of the city if necessary searching for vacancies. Want more detail?
More guidance? Book:Do What You Want: The Book That Shows You How to Create a Career You’ll Love available now from amazon