What career advice would you give your 14/15 year old self?

For National Careers Week, we asked our staff and board of directors what career advice would you give your 14/15 year old self? We love their honest and real answers which we hope will inspire young people to think about their future but not stress too much.

Paul Hobson. Chief Executive
“Follow your interest; what excites you!”

Julian Hook. Development Director
“Don’t worry about trying to identify what you want to do as career – your life will be subject to many changes and the best thing you can do is prepare to be adaptable and be able to respond positively to change.”

David Roe. Partnership & Delivery Manager
“There is a lot of pressure to decide what you want to do as a career now but if you aren’t sure that’s OK. Let what you are passionate about drive your decision making and be ready to grab opportunities when they arrive. If you do that, you’ll find you will end up doing something you love!”

Jo Osgood, Contract Manager
“Your first choice isn’t your last choice, each experience is one step on your career ladder.”

Alison Hitchings, Contract Manager
“Keep going on the path you are on; you are fabulous already! Consider some seemingly ‘wild’ ideas and don’t be afraid to try something completely different.”

Verity French, Business Development Manager
“Listen to others but don’t let them limit your choices. Choose what you enjoy and keep your options open. Try your best, always.”

Jason Campbell, ICT First Line Support Technician
“Hone your verbal and written communication skills…these are powerful assets. Get seriously I.T. savvy to ease your transition into the modern workforce, streamline your workflow, and provide yourself with more opportunities…learn to automate complex tasks!”

Kate Tricker, Finance and Payroll Manager
“Try your hardest in your GCSE’s but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the grades you want or need. There are other options and routes to get you to where you want to be.”

Nee Bedford, #Focus5 Contract Manager
“Its ok to not have a plan! Your career path will evolve over time and new and different jobs will emerge. Concentrate on the things that interest you and the rest will follow.”

Rocky Moore
“Keep investing in yourself – gain knowledge, skills & experience at every opportunity!
Invest in yourself, it’s the greatest investment you will ever make.”

Steph Moore, Services to Education Manager
“Not everything is going to go to plan but that will be ok as it will teach you resilience. Just make sure you are adaptable, reliable, and open to learn everything and you’ll be fine.”

Hailey Collins, Contract Manager
“Focus on yourself: getting to know yourself, your skills, and your strengths so that you can recognise and capitalise on opportunities.”

Tim Warren, Operations Manager
“The next few years are a great opportunity to explore different ideas and test out interests. Doing this will prepare you to manage your career in a continually changing workplace.”

Dr Oliver Jenkins, Senior Careers Development Consultant
“Don’t panic! You don’t need to worry about a ‘career for life’ – just focus on what you’re good at and be open to lots of experiences.”

Fiona Reed, Operations Manager
“You don’t have to make a decision for life, there are opportunities to change direction throughout a working life. Do the research and seek support but make decisions for yourself not to please others.”

Ian Exworthy, Operations Manager
“I would encourage myself to be more open minded in that you don’t just have to do O Levels, A Levels and go to Polytechnic (as they were then). I would place greater value on the vocational vs the academic and what you really enjoy vs how much money you might get paid.”

Diane Rowe, Team Leader
“Try to research all the options at are available to you. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake as that’s how we learn and develop. Make sure the option you choose is your choice and within your grasp. Always have a plan b should things go wrong.”

Barnaby Ridge, Senior Careers Development Consultant
“Not to worry because the right career is out there for everyone, it may just take a while to find.”

Kate Evan-Hughes, Service Director – Education, Cornwall Council
“Reach for the stars but be ok when plans change. Change is scary sometimes, but if it takes you closer to your dreams its always worth it.”

Matthew Fairclough-Kay, Torbay Council”
Don’t simply try and find a career or role that you enjoy, aim for one that really matters, to you. We all benefit greatly when we know we belong and when we have a true sense of worth, if you can find these in your work life plenty of joy awaits you.”