At the beginning of this academic year I felt privileged to speak at an undergraduate careers conference at Derby Uni. In preparation I got thinking about my undergraduate self, some 10yrs ago (jeez!), and considered what advice I would give my green-self back then. As an excitable first year I snuck into a 3yr careers talk for a similar degree, during which four obvious options were presented by the speakers: Police, Probation, Prison Service, and Addaction. After that day there was one place I really wanted to work…and at the end of year 3 only that employer remain desirable. I remember clearly the Addaction speaker explaining encouragingly “you are all going to leave with a degree – what will make you stand out”. Immediately after that I went over the road to the CVS and ended up signed up for Childline – something inconceivable at the time.
As well as the chain of job-related events between then and now, my talk went along the lines of…
1. Set yourself a HUGG = huge unbelievable gigantic goal, then make it bigger, and don’t settle. Find your passion and spend time doing what you love.
2. Be you. Appreciate who you are and discover your strengths. Craft them, hone them. What is about you? Why would I employ you over everyone in this room? What do you do in your spare time?
3. Don’t expect to walk into a ‘graduate salary’. Be patient and work with presence. Make every job and every interaction count in building and shaping the professional person you are. There is something to be learnt from all of your challenges and all your experiences.
May be I should stop and read this blog.