By Gordon Tytler, Director of Procurement at Rolls-Royce.
After almost three decades of working in procurement, the biggest change Gordon Tytler has seen isn’t the technology or speed of delivery, but the professionalism of the people working behind the scenes to purchase and move products around the globe. “The people that we have and the quality of the people that we’ve got is phenomenal,” the director of procurement for Rolls-Royce says.
Procurement specialists today are more than buyers; they need to have a strong business sense and be able to guide a company’s decision-making. “Procurement is very much a people- and knowledge-based organization,” Tytler says. “The tools allow us to operate more efficiently, more effectively and allow us to link with our suppliers. But, the key differentiator for successful procurement is its people.”
Tytler’s belief in the value of his employees is part of why Rolls-Royce invests heavily in training and recruitment. The company encourages its team members to join professional organizations such as the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the Institute of Supply Management and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.
Those organizations are one way employees improve their skills knowledge, but Rolls-Royce also offers training at every level of a person’s career. Early training tends to center on a person’s capabilities. As they progress through their career, training becomes more focused on leadership and how individuals can contribute to a high-performance culture. Tytler himself recently took part in a leadership academy course held at England’s Oxford University for Rolls-Royce’s top 150 executives. “That commitment to training at all levels is very, very strong,” Tytler says.
Identifying those people who can contribute to Rolls-Royce’s high-performance culture begins during recruitment. The company draws students from universities around the world and regularly holds career fairs.
When hiring or promoting, Tytler says Rolls-Royce is not only looking at skills and capabilities, but also the individual’s behaviour and culture. The company wants people who can build a culture of collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurism while sourcing materials in an ethical way and creating long-term relationships with suppliers. “We’ve got some absolutely brilliant people,” Tytler says. “Their skills, their behaviours are fantastic. The how we do the job is equally important to what we do.”
Centrally Led, Locally Deployed
Tytler himself is a product of Rolls-Royce’s career advancement training. He joined the company as an engineer in 1989 and has spent the last 28 years serving in various roles in factories, procurement, supply chain and logistics. In that time, he’s worked for four out of the five divisions of the company and lived in both the United States and Norway. His most recent step forward with the company came in April 2016 when Tytler was named the director of procurement for the group.
In his new position, Tytler is responsible for administering Rolls-Royce’s $9 billion annual spend in an ethical and sustainable way. The procurement group alone has 1,100 people, divided among the company’s three divisions: Civil aerospace, defense aerospace, power systems and group for indirect purchases. Tytler acts as the strategic and functional leader for all three of those procurement groups and has direct accountability for the group indirect purchases.
In this 9 minute read, Mark Price, Founder of Engaging Works, shares his thoughts on Career Management.
Before I set out the six steps to help you manage your career it is helpful to know what career you would like! Only then can you start to manage it. Some people from an early age know what they want to do, maybe a vet, a firefighter or a train driver and some happily follow through on that ambition.
I always say you should do something you love, but many of us just fall into a job and then muddle through. And so my first piece of advice is to take the engaging.works/ew/profile survey. Additionally, you should take the personality profile test at engaging.works/ew/profile Together these tests will help you think about the line of work that will most suit you and how you will do it. After giving it a go if you don’t like what you have chosen to do move on and give something else a try. If your boss or work colleagues are making you unhappy in your career of choice, read Six Steps to Managing Difficult Work Colleagues. Your happiness at work is critically important to how you enjoy your life.
The six steps are:
Step One. The destination
Step Two. Planning the journey
Step Three. Career breaks
Step Four. My mentor
Step Five. Your network
Step Six. Ambition management
Step One. The destination
If you’ve decided what kind of work you’d like to do, then you have to decide how far you want to travel in that line of work. My father was self-employed, he was a salesman and he worked to live rather than live to work. He did enough to look after his family and would rather spend time with us than keep pushing to build a bigger and bigger business. He was happy and contented and he avoided stress and difficult decisions.
On the other hand, in my previous career, I lived to work. I liked overcoming the challenges. My decade of running a large organisation was full of stress and difficult decisions. I worked ridiculously long hours, was always thinking about the job and missed or curtailed holidays. But I was happy running Waitrose. It gave me huge joy and pride to see the business do well and my colleagues flourish. But I had far less time with my children than my father had with me.
Only you can decide where on this spectrum you would like to be. You need to make a conscious decision and then enjoy and embrace what you have decided. Don’t complain you haven’t seen your kids grow up or have no private life if you have committed to reach the top in your chosen area. That, I am afraid, is what it takes. Likewise, don’t look upwards and marvel at the trappings of the CEO or busy business owner when you are able to see your family each evening, at the weekend and indulge your hobbies and interests. Be happy with your decisions.
But it is worth reviewing where you would like to be along the way. Take the workplace happiness test at https://engaging.works/happiness-survey to test if you’ve got the balance right. I changed my ambitions in my late 20’s. I was a mad-keen golfer playing to a high standard, but decided if I put the energy I was giving that into my day job I’d do better, and I was right.
Step Two. Planning the journey
Now you have decided on your career of choice and thought about your level of ambition. Next you plan how to get there.
When I ran Waitrose I would see all the new graduates shortly after they had joined. I’d ask what their ambitions were and about 90 per cent would say, to do my job, which was great. I then explained that the current average term for a CEO was about five years, only a few had several tenures, and so when would they like this five years? After much thought they would usually say, around the age of 45. Good, I would say to them, so now you need to plan what you are going to do for the next twenty-four years – to best prepare you. I would explain that life would overtake their career ambitions, that they would change what they wanted as they experienced more and so they should constantly review their short and long-term ambitions.
I think the best way to do that is to break down those twenty-four years into three year chunks and one day nibbles. There is a section to do that in www.engaging.works/ew/me/profile
It structures your long-term goals and also your short-term goals with a three year planner, a daily planner and a diary. Here’s how it works:
Three Year Plan
On this page you should set out what you want to achieve in three years time. It should not get updated until complete and then you start a new three year plan. It is broken down into your business and personal targets. You also need to work out how you are going to achieve them. This is likely to include: what experiences, qualifications, knowledge and skills you will need to acquire; whose help and support you’ll need (see my mentor and networking steps); and on the personal side it might also need you to consider what savings you need to make or how you will balance your time between conflicting demands.
The daily planner will help you prioritise and consciously include activities that guide you towards achieving your three year goals. But more importantly it will help you to focus on achieving today’s goals to the best of your ability. Promotion comes because you do what you are doing brilliantly.
The daily diary will allow you to have honest conversations with yourself about how you are doing. You can ask yourself what changes in direction you might make and what you need to do more or less of. Throughout my career I noted down incidents and stories and lessons I’d take from them. They became my ‘Workplace Fables’ series.
To achieve the most you can be you have to evaluate how you are doing and use all the time available to you effectively. This is best done by this 24 year/3 year/1 day at a time plan. It might seem rigid to some of you but persevere and you’ll see the benefits.
Step Three. Career breaks
There are many reasons why employees might take a short or long career break: caring for children; elderly or unwell relatives; redundancy or just to take some time off. Whether you are going back to the same job or planning to start a new one it would be very unusual not to feel nervous and lack confidence. To mitigate both I would advise to stick with the 24/3/1 plan above. I would also make a virtue of how you have spent your time away from work and what new skills, experience or qualifications you have gained. Looking after a family or poorly relative involves taking on responsibility, planning and high levels of flexibility but it would be easy to take these skills for granted.
Steps Four and Five below are important, to keep a mentor, and find new ones who can share their relevant experience, and your network. You can do all of that through engaging.works. Completing a daily diary and planner will help you get the most from your break from formal employment. What did you learn from an article you read, or a book, or a TV programme? How did you use a holiday to broaden your knowledge? Did you join any groups, gain a new hobby or learn a new sport? And you should keep your https://engaging.works/ew/cv/create updated with those evolving skills. There is little doubt that your experience will have extended, negotiating with children can be as tough as any business deal!
When you are on the verge of deciding to make the move back to formal employment share your experience and concerns with a like-minded group on engaging.works. Read Six Steps to Your Perfect CV and Six Steps to Be the Best You Can Be at Interview.
Step Four. My mentor
In the normal course of events your career will have ups and downs. I would highly recommend you have a mentor or mentors you can share those experiences with and get advice from. Often family and friends are there to lean on but it is much better to have someone who has been there before, has relevant experience and is objective. You can volunteer to be a mentor and give something back at engaging.works/ew/mentors/matcher or you can look for suitable mentors at https://engaging.works/ew/mentors/matcher
The site either allows you to put in mentors you know already and have approached or to be matched with someone who can help. Additionally Engaging.works lets you ask for expert advice on the Global Hub and you can find articles and lectures there too as well is in the Business library.
Step Five. Your network
Over the years you will informally build many networks: family; friends; work colleagues; customers; suppliers; fellow hobbyists and mentors. Engaging.works helps you to keep in contact with those groups but you should be constantly asking how you might build these groups to give yourself the best opportunity to develop. Your twenty-four and three year plan should guide you into which circles of contacts you need to build to achieve your ambition and your daily plan can keep you focused. To begin with the circles will tend to be internally focused in your own organisation but then with time will ripple out. What external groups or bodies should you join, what meetings, classes or lectures will extend your knowledge? Success often depends on who you know as well as how much you know. Building new contacts, and nurturing existing ones – that are relevant to your own ambitions, is critical to achieving your goals.
Step Six. Ambition management
It is good to have ambition. But you need to realise that those around you have ambition too. So here are my three tips.
Firstly, it is a big world. There are more than enough opportunities for everyone who has the ability and desire to reach the top. You are not competing with the people in your office but people all over the world. The best way to achieve your goals is to actively work with the people you might see as internal competition. Undermining them, or wasting precious energy in doing them down will only make your own position worse. Your line manager will want to see you being cooperative and committed to the team goals.
Secondly, don’t tell other colleagues that you want the top job. By all means tell your line manager and their superiors that you want to work hard to be considered a candidate for the next level. And actively seek their advice on how you might achieve that. But day in day out say you want to do the very best job you can at what you are doing. Everyone will respect you for that. But you will do yourself more harm than good if you keep telling everyone that you want up and out.
Thirdly you need good feedback to keep your feet on the ground and heading in the right direction. Your mentor can help with that and so can making the most of formal reviews of your performance. It’s nice to hear where you have done well but what you really want is constructive feedback on how you can be even better. I recommend taking a 360 degree feedback survey such as the Workplace Happiness Survey which gives you feedback: https://engaging.works/happiness-survey.
On the 360 Survey You can invite superiors, peers, and those you manage to anonymously answer questions on your performance. Taken annually this will help shape your own development plan and discussions with your mentor.
The best route to promotion is to be the best one doing the current job. Focus on that. Use your daily planner to help you achieve that. But by working with your mentor and 360 degree feedback you can shape a plan to meet your future ambitions thinking about what skills and experience you need at the next level.
I hope that this advice is helpful. Along your journey you may well decide you have reached the level that suits you best to balance your work/life needs. You may hit a ceiling where your skill set is not going to be enough at a higher level.
There is a big difference between management and leadership that you can read about in the Six Steps books on both. I hope along the route you will find Engaging Works a guide and a companion to help you be the best you can be and a little happier.
Mark Ian Price, Baron Price CVO is a British businessman, Founder of Engaging Works, Chairman of Fair Trade UK writer and member of the House of Lords. He was a former Managing Director of Waitrose, and Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.
New research from think forward consulting has revealed that 75% of people in the UK are unhappy within their role. In a survey of almost 1500 workers, the findings were reflective of a largely unsatisfied workforce. This unhappiness appears to be down to three key issues: passion, recognition and environment.
Only 19% of respondents said that they were doing their dream job. A staggering 83% said that they were not recognised for doing a good job, and only 18% of respondents were allowed to work flexibly. These factors all conspire to create a largely unsatisfied workforce. The malaise gripping the UK workforce doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age, but the tendency to stay in an unhappy situation does.
Last year a Deloitte1 survey of 10,455 millennials (professionals under the age of 35) uncovered some telling trends – 43% of millennials plan to leave their current jobs within two years and only 28% plan to stay beyond five years. This short-termism is indicative of a millennial fearlessness that eludes the older generation. Millennials are not as afraid to act upon their dissatisfaction. They believe they have options with a conviction that older professionals may not.
The Think Forward Consulting research revealed that over a quarter (26%) of respondents feel stuck in their role. This is particularly pertinent to professionals between the age of 35-44, amongst whom 28% feel stuck. 26% of professionals over the age of 55 believe it’s too late to change things, compared to 12% of 18-24-year-olds. Business psychologist Penny Strutton says the career fear that comes with age can be overcome:
“It’s common that people become more fearful with age: children, mortgages and other obligations combine to create an illusion that it’s too late to change career. But this is just an illusion – people always have the power to change things, they just need a little reminder of that and some help along the way”.
Penny believes that it is never too late to change things, but that the relentlessness of work can make it appear that way. Her advice for older professionals is to step away from the rat race to reflect on what they truly want:
“Any big life change requires time and space. If you feel restless and trapped within your career, I would advise you take a break and restore the work/life balance that we are often deprived of.
For Penny this one decision could be lifechanging. In her view the feeling of being stuck is linked to the confinement of the work environment and an old belief that you have a job for life. The relative fearlessness that millennials enjoy is possible for the older professional. It’s not an exclusive privilege. For Penny, the key is stepping away:
“My hope is that older professionals develop the same attitude as millennials to their career. I’d advise them that age means little – one of our aims is to alter that mindset, and to show the older professional that their potential is limitless. Ultimately, we spend a lot of our lives in work, and we all deserve to feel happy in that environment”.
The expression VUCA has been around for decades. And yet, it’s as relevant today in business as it was when first introduced in the 1980s by the US military. VUCA — which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity — describes an unpredictable workplace characterized by constant flux, unknowns and unknowables. It’s the new normal facing most leaders today.
It’s also the new normal facing most employees, who struggle daily to navigate the murkiness to deliver business results. But the murkiness doesn’t stop there.
It extends into our relationship with career development, a feature of the business landscape that in many organizations has remained frozen in time and unresponsive to contemporary organizational realities.
Today’s VUCA workplace demands VUCA career development — an approach to growth that’s:
VUCA career development, while sounding daunting, actually boils down to small adjustments to the mindsets and behaviours of employees and leaders. Five shifts that can easily be incorporated into existing processes — and can lead to dramatically enhanced results — follow.
1. Habitualized reflection
The “one and done” career-planning approach from the past is insufficiently agile to accommodate today’s workplace. Employees must lead the way by developing the capacity for, and commitment to, constantly deepening their self-awareness. They must routinely challenge their understanding of themselves, their strengths, opportunities, interests and values. They must make it a conscious practice to consider more critically the world around them. This means intentionally prioritizing until they become habits such mental processes as connecting the dots among events, extracting lessons from challenges and failure, and updating their understanding of the unique value proposition they have to offer.
2. Ongoing conversation
As employees deepen their self-awareness and develop the reflection habit, it becomes incumbent upon leaders to tap this reservoir of information and insight. And this happens through conversation, but not the once-a-year organizationally-prescribed meeting. While that can be important, it can also become stale within weeks or months. What’s required is an ongoing dialogue, slipped right into the workflow and routine interactions. Short conversations about the employee, what’s going on in the organization and even broader industry and strategic trends offers tremendous benefits. It keeps career-development thinking fresh, is motivational and generates a deeper bond and greater loyalty between employees and leaders.
3. Pencilled possibility planning
VUCA development is flexible, adaptable and fluid. As a result, career-development plans can no longer be cast in concrete with the expectation of an annual lifespan. Employees need to play out multiple possibilities concurrently, holding each lightly and being willing to change as necessary. Scenario planning is the name of the game. They need to mine the overlap among possible ways forward for highest-impact actions. And, they need to go where they’ve got energy and where there are greater chances for growth-related traction.
4. Commitment to high-impact actions
In days gone by, the output of a career-development plan was a highly structured game plan with prescribed steps and structured schedules. Not any longer! What’s required to respond to today’s changeable conditions is something nimbler and more iterative. Formal development opportunities like workshops, webinars and e-learning may not be flexible enough to meet turn-on-a-dime needs. As a result, employees and leaders may want to lean more heavily into informal or unstructured learning (which includes development experiences, mentoring, visibility, and networking) to offer spot or targeted high-impact actions that work within the employee’s (versus the organization’s) timeline.
5. Routine recognition and reinforcement
Let’s face it. Fitting development into already bursting-at-the-seams workloads can be challenging. It’s easy for employees to let their growth and learning take a backseat to more urgent concerns. That’s where leaders can play a valuable role. Catching people acting on their developmental intentions is inspiring. Acknowledging the acquisition of new skills or experiences is uplifting. Offering feedback, coaching or ideas on one’s efforts to expand capacity and contribution is motivating. When leaders do these things – when they pick up on cues and make recognition and reinforcement part of their cadence – they can accomplish all of this and more.
Careers exist in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment; but career development doesn’t have to be fall victim to these challenging conditions. In fact, these characteristics can actually offer tremendous opportunity for employees and leaders who are willing to make the process more versatile, uplifting, choice-filled and active by embracing these five shifts.
No clue about your future career yet? You might not be looking in all the right places…
If you’ve been searching for an answer in Buzzfeed quizzes and have yet to feel inspired, let’s get you thinking a bit differently.
While there are a number of reasons to choose a particular career – from earning big bucks to a desire to change the world – you need to have a few options to choose from first. So where should you look for ideas?
Here are six places you may not have considered for a fresh dose of career inspiration:
1. What you’re watching
An easy one to begin with. Watching TV or a film could get you thinking critically about career possibilities in a way that doesn’t feel like ‘research’ or ‘work’.
Documentaries and the news are particularly good for this. Those interviewed usually have their full job title pop up on-screen, giving you a starting place to learn more. Also, a lot of fields and sectors tend to be covered in a 30 minute news broadcast.
Just be aware that the way a job is depicted in fictional TV and films may not be 100% accurate… Don’t be fooled by the ‘CSI Effect’ that might place an unrealistic shine on a less-than-glamorous career.
You might instinctively separate personal interests and career options as two things that should never cross over. But something you do for fun can actually have a career in it!
For example, if you’re a diehard Chelsea fan, chances are you probably won’t make the starting eleven at Stamford Bridge. But there could be a profession in the same vicinity which suits your strengths. A sports journalist, nutritionist or physiotherapist could keep you close to the action, without actually touching a ball.
Think carefully about mixing work and pleasure, though. Perhaps you’d prefer keeping that passion as something you do for fun and can always escape to?
Not feeling inspired by that Saturday job right now?
The job you’re doing now probably isn’t long-term, but use it as an opportunity to test out what sort of skills you excel in (teamwork, problem solving, customer service?), as well as what other roles there might be further up the chain if you’re working for a larger business.
On your next break, pick your manager’s brain about how they got to where they are, plus other opportunities there may be. Could they put in a good word for you at a head office to get some (corporate) work experience?
A good example might be a career as a fashion buyer, if your current part-time job is in a clothes shop. Working your way up from a shop floor and gaining an understanding of different corners of the company can work in your favour, later.
Is there a brand or company which you’re fiercely loyal to or really admire? Do you know how many people are responsible for the end-product or service they put out? You might be surprised…
Browse companies’ websites for an ‘About Us’ or ‘Meet The Team’ section, and learn about the different individuals working behind-the-scenes, including their career journey. This can give you a rough blueprint of what you need to follow a similar path (and even a named contact to reach out to with questions).
Similarly, a company’s vacancies or jobs page can provide detailed insight about specific roles and what qualifications, skills and experience they look for.
Our parents or guardians are usually our primary role models growing up. But if what they do for a living doesn’t interest you, who else in the family can you ask? Aunts and uncles? Cousins? It might be worth catching up with them over email (maybe it’s time to finally accept their Facebook request…).
Do you even know what these extended family members do for a living? Are they still doing what they were doing five years ago? If they changed career direction recently, could their reasons for doing so contain some pearls of wisdom? You never know, they might be doing something really cool which you never knew about.
Family and family friend connections can also help you find work experience.
Social media manager, app designer, data analyst, community manager… These are just some of today’s careers which didn’t exist 10 years ago.
Emerging jobs are usually down to significant technological shifts. It’s quite invigorating to think that some of the big jobs of tomorrow may not technically exist right now, or that they may sprout from existing roles.
If the traditional job roles you hear about everywhere (e.g. doctor, lawyer, police officer) don’t interest you, keep in mind that the job landscape is always evolving. You might just need to do a bit of research around the direction certain industries are moving in.
Have a dream job in mind? See what it takes to get there with Which? University comprehensive guides…
Whether you want to crunch numbers as an accountant or dabble with danger as a firefighter, these job profiles equip you with the insider knowledge you need to begin your journey into your chosen career.
Not sure yet? Consider it a job ideas list!
Here’s what you’ll learn from our guides to popular job roles:
What to expect
Education and qualifications
Average starting salaries
Where to find job vacancies
PLUS: tips and advice from real people in those job roles
So, what do you want to be? Pick a job from our list of careers:
Do you want to not only make a significant positive impact on people’s lives, but also ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of our society too?
With mental health issues and general life stress becoming more widely talked about, a non-judgemental, listening ear can do more than make someone feel better – it can help turn people’s lives around.
Firefighters aren’t always fighting fires – do you want to use your problem-solving initiative to tackle a wide range of emergency situations, including rescuing people and animals, and administering first aid?
Firefighters frequently talk of it taking many attempts before you’re successful. Luckily, we’ve gathered expert tips from a real firefighter.
Plus, we talk to a pilot about her day job flying around the world.
How to become a police officer
Dealing with criminals on a daily basis, unsociable hours and dangerous scenarios – does a challenging but rewarding career as a police officer appeal to you?
A career in the police force offers a healthy salary, plenty of opportunity for progression and, like paramedics above, the chance to make a real difference in the community when the worst happens. But, equally, it regularly demands anti-social hours and is a potentially stressful profession.
Are you genuinely interested in understanding social or emotional disadvantage, discrimination, poverty and trauma, and making a difference?
Social workers learn to remain calm and build relationships with people in sometimes stressful situations, understand new circumstances quickly – which may involve legal and financial information – and help people to be as happy as possible in their lives.
On the 12th November at the national Careers England Summit in London a report will be published which reveals that schools are unable to provide young people with the careers advice and guidance they need.
The report shows that very little of the money the DfE are spending on careers actually goes to the schools and the people working with and supporting young people.
The report shows that despite schools now recognising the vital importance of careers provision they are unable to deliver this due to a lack of funding:
Only 10% have adequate funding
75% have insufficient, limited or no funding
It highlights around a 5 th of secondary schools receive less than £2K in funding per annum. Given average size of secondary school is 1000 this equates to circa £2 per student – less than the cost of purchasing a cup of coffee!
About a third of secondary schools receive less than £5k per annum – £5 per students.
Yet 84% of schools “strongly agree” or “agree” that careers provision in their schools is now a high priority.
TES person of the year 2018, Jules White, started the WorthLess? Campaign in 2015 because he felt frustrated that children were not getting the full range of opportunities they needed and deserved. At the same time, the Department for Education was telling everyone that we’d never had it so good and there was “more money going into our schools than ever before”.
As the Government rolls out the second wave of Career Hubs over the next 12 months, which aim to provide local, targeted careers and advice and guidance to young people, the Local Government Association is concerned that the Hubs will support only 1,300 schools and colleges and only reach a fraction of young people, meaning the Government careers advice scheme will fail to reach thousands of young people.
Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, former Chair, National Careers Council, England said:
“We need to provide funding direct to schools to enable them to employ careers professionals to provide much more support for young people. How can it be right that less than the cost of a cup of coffee is being spent on providing careers advice to young people in our secondary schools and academies?
“This generation are seriously missing out. Clearly ill-informed career decisions from an early age have long-term cost implications for both the individual and society as a whole.”
John Yarham, Interim CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company said:
“We agree with this survey’s finding that careers provision in schools is now a high priority, with Careers Leaders in schools at the forefront of this improvement. The Careers Leader role is now one year old.
“Our survey with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation of 750 Careers Leaders shows:
88% say their role is having a positive impact on young peoples’ outcomes
81% feel positive about the future of careers provision
“Good quality careers advice is an important element of careers support in the Gatsby best practice benchmarks and we recognise the issues that surround this, including affordability. We look forward to working with Careers Leaders to strengthen the provision of careers advice in their schools.“
The national survey of school leaders and careers professionals was undertaken by Careers England, supported by NAHT and the Worthless? Campaign – with technical input from Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE.
It aimed to identify what support, if any, is being given to schools to help them provide careers advice and guidance for young people. There were a total of 191 responses.
New research from jobs board, Monster.co.uk shows that today’s 16-18 year-olds no longer see a university degree as the only route to a good career. Just 53% say they are considering going to university, whilst 22% plan on completing an apprenticeship.
This is a significant drop since 2013 when 86% of young people said that a university education was important.
With the average student graduating with over £50,000 of debt, 42% of school leavers are put off from going to university because of money. And over a third (35%) believe that doing a degree doesn’t guarantee you a great job.
Monster.co.uk’s research shows that teenagers and their parents are broadly in agreement. When asked, 48% of parents and 60% of school leavers believe that getting a degree will get you a better job than completing an apprenticeship. Whilst 41% of parents think an apprenticeship is the best route for their child.
Across the UK, parents and teenagers in the North East have the most positive outlook towards apprenticeships. 37% of teens in the region are considering an apprenticeship, compared to UK average of 22%. For parents in the North East, 69% believed apprenticeships stand you in better stead to get a good job than gaining a degree. With the North East currently home to the country’s highest unemployment rate, apprenticeships offer an immediate route into work, rather than going to university and graduating with huge debt and no job guarantee.
Derek Jenkins, General Manager UK & Ireland, Monster.co.uk, monster.ie comments: “With the cost of university tuition young people are moving away from the idea that degrees are essential to getting a good job. While it’s great to see more options available, making this huge decision at a young age is putting school leavers under a lot of pressure. At 16, 17 or 18 who honestly knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives? Instead of rushing into something, consider taking a year out to do internships and gain experience in different industries, or go travelling before making that decision.
“Whatever route you do decide to go down, if it doesn’t work out, don’t panic. You won’t be the first person to drop out of university or switch careers. Often it’s only through trial and error that you end up where you really want to be”
For anyone concerned that they won’t be able to get a good job without a degree, there are still a number of high paying and interesting jobs that you don’t need a degree for. Monster have created the top 10 highest paying jobs that you don’t need a degree for:
The top 10 highest paying jobs which you don’t need a degree for
1. Firefighter – Firefighters can earn up to £40,000 per year, depending on their rank. General managers can earn around the £30,000 mark, but if you become a station manager you may collect upwards of 40k. To start, you’ll need to pass written exams and aptitude tests. You must be fit too – a number of physical exams are included as part of the selection process.
2. Police constable – As a police officer, there’s a variety of different roles you can do, and it’s not all about being out on the streets fighting crime directly. Depending on where you are, salaries start at around £20,000 with the potential for growth of £45,000 and upwards for sergeants. Once you get into inspector territory as your career progresses, you can expect up to £50,000.
3. Entrepreneur – You don’t technically need any qualifications to become a business owner – just a huge amount of drive, determination and a brilliant idea. With 1 in 10 Brits dreaming of owning their own businesses, what you earn will depend on how successful you are.
4. Train and tram drivers – Newly-qualified drivers can earn up to £25,000, while experienced ones take home up to £50,000. There are some great benefits too, like free and discounted rail travel.
5. Training managers – Training managers conduct training programmes for employers in a variety of different sectors. The average national salary is £37,000, with the potential for more, depending on the company, industry experience and location.
6. Project manager – Project managers can work in a variety of different fields and are responsible for making sure the project is a success. Responsibilities include planning, budgeting, overseeing and documenting. The average salary is around £40,000 depending on the area and location.
7. Air traffic controllers – There’s no degree needed here, but you will need a calm nerve, 5 GCSEs and three years’ training to obtain your air traffic control licence from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). Starting salaries are £17,000 to £21,000, while experienced controllers can reach up to £50,000 depending on where you work and shift allowances.
8. Sales managers – Sales managers are responsible for leading their sales team to success. You’ll need excellent communication and management skills, as well as proficient IT knowledge. Basic salaries start at £18,000 and can reach a potential of £100,000 – and more thanks to commission.
9. Construction manager – Being a construction manager involves having good leadership and communication skills in order to coordinate and supervise projects. Although some of the work can be done from the office, this role also means working on-site – in all weather. On the plus side, Construction Managers can earn upwards of £50,000.
10. Hazardous-waste manager – It might not sound appealing at first, but managers in this field can expect to receive upwards of £36,000 to get rid of hazardous by-products produced by organisations such as hospitals and factories. The level of skill required to do this role makes it incredibly lucrative.
So many of us were raised to a subtle beat (or loud gong) that went something like this, “Get good grades. Get into a decent school. Get a solid desk job (with benefits). Be happy.”
Problem is, for some people this formula doesn’t lead to career fulfillment at all. In fact, for some, it’s a formula that ultimately makes them want to crawl out of their own skin or run screaming from that solid desk job (with benefits).
Could this be you or your clients? What are some signs that individuals may, in fact, not be cut out for a traditional, 9-to-5 job?
Here are a few signs, plus what should you do if this becomes clear to you.
1. You Feel Like a Caged Animal When You’re in the Office
Sometimes, it’s not about resenting authority at all. For some who aren’t cut out for traditional jobs, it’s the endless sea of desks that makes them want to run screaming from the building.
I remember my own first corporate job. At first, it was all like, “Oh. Sooo cool. Look at all these important-looking people in these little cubby holes.” By about six months in, I was finding any excuse possible to get out into the fresh air. (“You need someone to go pick up lunch? On it!”)
By a few years in, I’d had enough. I lasted a grand total of seven years before I’d flat-out had it. I needed freedom, and I needed space.
What to Do If You Feel Trapped
If your job truly requires you to sit in one space and stare at a computer all day (and you actually don’t mind the work), you may consider requesting the option to telecommute a couple times a week. This article includes templates and suggestions for starting that conversation.
If your role doesn’t really mandate sitting in one place every day, start planning your day (or requesting to do so) in a way that gets you out and about at least a time or two every day.
Monotony can crush even the brightest spirit. Find ways to break up yours (simple suggestions here. Or, if you know an office is simply a no-go, start investigating ways to apply to a field that has you, well, out in the field.
2. You Don’t Like Working Regimented Hours (or Having a Regimented Life)
Similar to the feeling that a cubicle may give you, being required (or nearly required) to punch in and out each day can make you feel like you have no say in your career or life. And having no say may make you want out, stat.
What to Do If You Despise Set Hours
Of course, there are many roles that simply require you cover a shift. If this is your job (and it’s making you nuts), you may want to consider a new position or line of work. Businesses that run shifts need shift workers. No getting around that.
However (and this is especially true if you’re a top performer), if the imposed hours are arbitrary—done because this is what everyone does and has always done—perhaps you could put together a proposal that shows your boss how you can achieve your goals outside of the current schedule.
Use care with this approach, of course. (Keep in mind that your boss may long for a similar scenario but be too afraid to push it with “the powers that be.”) But if you do it strategically and in a non-pushy manner, you may just find your idea is heard. And, hopefully, approved!
3. Spreadsheets Makes You Crazy
I recently worked with a client who was having a heck of a time finding a new sales role. It was a mystery to me at first, because she has so much going for her. But as we spoke, I began to realize that, while she loves selling, she hates (understatement) all the paperwork and reporting that goes along with it.
In fact, she doesn’t just hate it—she’s terrified of it. Thus, every time she gets into a conversation with a hiring manager (for another sales job), they get as far in conversation as the spreadsheets and then she’s out.
The companies she is eyeing simply don’t want a sales person who can’t or won’t also do the necessary behind-the-scenes work.
What to Do If Paperwork Makes You Pout
Whether you’re afraid of the paperwork (or the technology you need to know how to use to complete it), or simply annoyed about having to do it, here’s the reality: It’s probably not going away.
Whether you’re working for someone else or for yourself, your job will likely require at least a certain amount of reporting, documenting, data entry, or number crunching. I don’t care if you’re on Wall Street or running a landscaping crew, business is business and it requires paperwork.
That said, if you truly abhor it, consider finding ways to delegate, outsource, or get support on the stuff you simply do not want to do. If you’re weak on the technology or tools that power the paperwork, ask for training, or invest in it yourself.
If you’re at the bottom of the ladder and can’t just delegate, see if you can trade tasks with a co-worker. Maybe they hate something you don’t mind and it could be a win-win for both of you.
Few of us adore paperwork, but it’s a part of business. So, either get comfortable with it, or get it off your plate.
4. You Resent Being Told What to Do (by Anyone)
No one likes an unreasonable or overly bossy boss, but the true fish-out-of-water 9-to-5-er tends to cringe when she gets even a whiff of “authority for the sake of being the authority” going on.
If you feel a bubbling rage when asked to attend a meeting you don’t want to go to, or work on a project you don’t think is a priority, this could be a warning sign. If you don’t think you shouldn’t have to arrive at a certain time or put in a request for vacation time at all? The writing’s on the wall.
What to Do If You’re Not Having it with Authority
If you’re feeling super resentful about having to answer to anyone, it may be a clear indicator that you’re meant to be your own boss. This isn’t me saying, “March right in and quit, my friend.” Slow your roll. In many cases, this could be reckless. But if you truly despise working on someone else’s agenda, consider how you might earn a living as the one who gets to make the agenda.
No matter how forcefully or consistently people wormed into your head that the formula for success always involves a 9-to-5 job, it’s just not true.
If you’re simply not cut out for one, don’t spend years pining away for something else. Instead, find strategic, creative, or brave ways to redefine your current role, or create your own.
Life’s too short to be stuck in a job (or cubicle) that you hate. So, make it your mission to find relief, or find the door.
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