Planning for career happy
With 1 in 3 people in the UK currently unhappy in their jobs* we must all stand up and do what we can to make sure the next generation of our workforce doesn’t add to this sad statistic.
This means that rather than sending our young people out into the world with vague notions of careers that sound fun, jobs that earn big bucks or roles that we think they should be doing (or wish we’d done ourselves) we need to arm them with the ability to dig a bit deeper. They need to become their own career investigators. What we’re talking about is some serious career planning!
Career planning LEMA style
Here at LEMA we’re all about LEAN, about processes and procedures that minimise waste and maximise efficiency. So, why should career planning be any different! Spend time assessing your career path now to save time and mistakes later. Makes complete sense I’m sure you’d agree.
So, when Year 10 pupils from St George’s School in Edgbaston joined us for their recent employability day, they were lucky enough to experience our career pathway firsthand. And, with the expert help of our very own Steven West were able to start applying our process to their current career plans.
What, Why, How
We asked them to think about the following:
- WHAT are your career goals : DEFINE
- WHY do you want to aim for this : ANALYSE
- HOW you will get there : ACT
We first asked the students to start by simply listing their top 3 careers, WHAT is it that you most want to do? Some had only one in mind so this was a great opportunity to open up discussion, chat with us, their teachers and each other about other pathways that would suit them. The, often considerable, gap that exists between education and commerce means that many young people are unaware of the full range of opportunities open to them. There may well be roles out there strongly related to their interests and skills of which they have no idea. Which is why this part of the exercise, whilst seemingly obvious, is so crucial. And, with careers ranging from Royal Marines to Acting, discussion was lively and career discoveries plenty.
The next step was to analyse their chosen careers; what is it that makes this job appealing? Why do you think these roles will suit you? We encouraged them to think beyond just simply being good at a subject and to look at the bigger picture such as making a difference to others and being creative. We also asked the students to think about behaviour, how they like to work and the day to day reality of these jobs. Questions such as ‘would a job where you are sat at a desk all day suit you?’ and “ does detailed research and meticulous planning sound like you?’ This was a new level of career exploration for the students and it really helped them to focus on their individual strengths and the careers that would really allow them to shine.
With all this in place it was then time to look at the detail; exactly what do they need in terms of qualifications and experience? It was time to investigate how they will get there. Again students relied on the advice of our industry professionals, their own teachers and of course our very own Steven West.
It was wonderful to see the students so engaged and fired up to figure all this out. They were all very open with their thoughts, dreams and plans for the future. Some having very fixed ideas about what they want to be when they grow up and many others still very unsure.
Of his own lightbulb moment, one student told me “ I really want to be an entrepreneur and make lots of money. Up until now I was thinking of property development, simply because of the money aspect. After talking to Tracey from Haig & Co and the other professionals from LEMA I’ve suddenly realised that I can combine my passion for cars and motor racing with my desire to earn big. I had never put the two together before but now I know that this is a real possibility, I’m very excited.”
Another student acknowledged his need to focus at school, admitting “ I’ve not been doing as well this year and today has made me realise that I’ve got what it takes I just need to put the effort in. It has really made me want to focus on my work and get back to those high grades I know I can achieve.” We went on to discus why he thought his grades had lowered and came to the conclusion that he finds revision difficult. He left tasked with researching different revision methods that would suit his learning style, make it more fun and therefore make the information stick.
Each student left with their own career pathway booklet and a wealth of ideas and thoughts on which to base further careers investigation. This is just the beginning, we told them. Expect things to change as you develop and grow, be prepared to be flexible but above all choose those careers that play to your natural strengths.
Above all choose career happy!
*Investors in People Job Exodus Trends 2017 employee sentiment poll