I don’t know what career advice is like now in schools, but all I remember from mine was not helpful in the slightest. Can advising about the possible careers and the skills needed for them be useful? Absolutely. But not everyone has the same opportunity to explore such topics.
I remember at school being given a test where you choose answers about what you like to do, such as working inside or outside, or working in a team or on my own. These sorts of questions are a staple of many online quizzes and tests we can find on the internet these days which are supposed to gain insight into what we want to do. I’m sure some are great, but the one I took at school was not helpful as my ideal job was a ‘cloakroom attendant’.
Not I’m sure being a cloakroom attendant is a perfectly good job, but it wasn’t what I expected to be told. I have no idea exactly how many job roles could have been picked from all the answer combination, but surely some were roles such as ‘nurse’, ‘secretary’ ‘estate agent’ etc. Although, maybe it was to show how many different roles there are in the world as this was something I hadn’t even thought of! However, for a careers aid, it wasn’t good because looking back it gave me no insight into why that had been chosen and it seemed like a random choice.
Like I say, I’m not sure how much focus is spent in schools now looking at careers, but I really hope it’s better than when I was there. Some children know what they want to do in life from an early age – maybe they want to be an actor, a teacher, or a doctor because that it what their parents do, or maybe they just know their vocation early on, such as being a police officer. That is great, because they can ask for specific career advice and read up on what steps they need to take to be in their dream role. For people who don’t, however, they need career advice and help to work out exactly what they want to do.
I think there is only so much of our own reading we can do into a subject area. Afterall, if we could all learn individually with no outside help, there wouldn’t be schools, colleges or universities! The same could be said for career advice. I also think it’s not all about job roles, it’s also about working out what a person wants to do or be. Tapping into that is probably the biggest challenge, but once completed, it can be the most rewarding. Sometimes potential isn’t realised until it is really looked into and found.
Career advice, therefore, is not just about what role someone may be suited to based on answering questions, it can also be a process of self-realisation in terms of what we really want to do or become. It can be a struggle to realise what that is, but the positives can be felt for a lifetime.
Do you agree with my views on career advice? What’s your experience with it? Let me know in the comments below.