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Can You Overcome Career Fear and Find Genuine Happiness?
January 21, 2020

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”.

ARTICLE BY: Penny Strutton, Business Psychologist

How to Provide Career Advice in a VUCA World?
January 20, 2020

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.

Career Management in a VUCA World

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:

  • Versatile
  • Uplifting
  • Choice-filled
  • Active

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.

By Julie Winkle Giulioni. Named one of Inc. Magazine’s top 100 leadership speakers, Giulioni is the co-author of the Amazon and Washington Post bestseller “Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want,” You can learn more about her speaking, training and blog at JulieWinkleGiulioni.com.

Which? University – How to Find Career Inspiration in Unexpected Places
January 9, 2020

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.

#CareerGoals: lawyersdoctors and playwrights talk about their jobs

2. Passions and interests

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?

3. Part-time job

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. 

4. Brands

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.

Popular careers and jobs  what are they, what they involve and how to achieve them

5. Family that’s not mum or dad

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.

Learn more about a degree subject: including popular jobs and average graduate salary

6. New jobs

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.

Which? University – List of Job Profiles and Career Ideas
January 2, 2020

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 
  • Career progression
  • 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:

How to become an accountant

Can you build professional relationships with people and demonstrate integrity, business awareness and analytical skills?

Accountants benefit from above-average salaries, plenty of choice around how to specialise and professional qualifications that are recognised internationally.

How to become an accountant – full guide here.

How to become a counsellor

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.

How to become a counsellor – full guide here.

How to become a firefighter

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.

How to become a firefighter – full guide here.

How to become a paramedic

Are you excited by the idea of dealing with life-and-death situations – helping people who may or may not appreciate your service – while navigating traffic jams when every second counts?

As any viewer of the BBC television series Ambulance will know, being a paramedic is not for the faint-hearted, but it can change lives. 

How to become a paramedic – full guide here.

  • We talk to a doctor and nurse to find out what it’s really like to work in the medical profession.
How to become a pilot

Would you thrive on the excitement of flying a commercial aircraft, combined with the responsibility that comes with the job?

Pilots are paid salaries that are well above average, and they can benefit from perks such as cheap airline tickets and overnight stays in holiday destinations.

How to become a pilot – full guide here.

  • 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.

How to become a police officer – full guide here.

How to become a social worker

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. 

How to become a social worker – full guide here.

Less than the cost of a cup of coffee is being spent on providing careers advice to young people in our schools and colleges
November 13, 2019

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.

deirdre hughes100x100

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 100x100

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.

Only Half of 16-18 Year-Olds Plan on Going to University
October 21, 2019

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]

Derek Jenkins, General Manager UK & Ireland, Monster.co.ukmonster.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]

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.

  1. Censuswide survey of 500 UK 16-18 year-olds
  2. Monster survey of 1100 UK parents
  3. Monster Jobs Confidence Index Q3 report
NCW2020 Social Media Pack
September 26, 2019

Here is everything you need to help promote #NCW2020 in your school or workplace.

A wide range of graphics you can use across all your Social Media platforms provided you follow the guidance in our information pack.

You can download everything you need below:

Social Media Guide
Social Media Graphics Pack
4 Signs You’re Clients Are Just Not Cut Out for the 9-to-5 Life
August 16, 2019

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.

#ResultsDay2019: Has University Become the Default Option?
August 15, 2019

Thousands of students will be busy thinking about their next move. New research has found that around three quarters (72%) of school leavers across the UK are planning on going to University when they finish school, more than those planning on getting a job (10%), doing an apprenticeship (5%), or taking a gap year (4%).

However, despite the enduring popularity of university, 44% do not believe a degree will equip them for a job, admitting it will only delay entry into the world of work (8%). In fact, one in five (20%) believe that 2-3 years of work experience would better prepare them for their career. 13% of degree hopefuls also reveal their A-Level subjects do not even match their degree.

  • 72% of year 13 students are planning on going to university after finishing school yet almost half (44%) do not believe a degree will equip them for the world of work
  • With record unconditional offers, almost a third (30%) believe it’s easier to get into university than 10 years ago citing reasons such as degrees being less valuable (39%) and universities needing the funding (30% )
  • Just under half (46%) say that there isn’t enough career advice available when it comes to making important decisions post A-levels

With more unconditional offers to universities than ever before, and some universities set to go bust, it’s perhaps no surprise that 30% believe it’s easier to get into universities now than ten years ago. When asked why, students said it was due to the institutions needing more funding (30%), degrees becoming less valuable (39%) and universities worryingly offering more unconditional offers to increase student numbers pre-results day (53%).

These concerns echo those raised in the media in recently months, looking at a possible collapse of the university system as we know it today due to financial pressures.

With these perceived problems in mind, why are students still so drawn to a degree over qualifications such as an apprenticeship?

It may come down to the schooling system and pressures, with 43% saying they chose their A-Levels based on subjects that they would most likely to get good grades in, whilst 28% said there just wasn’t enough careers advice available when it comes to making importance decisions post A-Levels.

Students also believed universities could be doing more to champion alternatives, with almost half (49%) saying they should be offering more degree apprenticeships or creating internship / apprentice opportunities to students in line with their degree subject (41%).

Mark Creighton CEO, AVADO comments:

“A-Level Results Day is a stressful day for sixth-formers up and down the country, with thousands banking on their grades to cement their careers at university. But with so many readily believing that these future degrees won’t prepare them for their careers, why do they insist on going?

“Here at AVADO, the UK’s leading apprenticeship provider, we’re breaking the mould and today, we’re encouraging students to consider alternative options. Not only could you earn money whilst studying through degree apprenticeships, but you even could enter the world of work from the get go and leave that university debt and student life working across tech, HR and digital for innovative brands like Microsoft, Google and MTV.”


James Eiloart, Senior Vice President of EMEA, Tableau Software, said:

“The fact that nearly half of all young people do not believe university prepares them for a job suggests a worrying disconnect between the education system and the demands of the modern workplace. Addressing this challenge will require action on a number of different fronts.

“Britain is facing a looming skills gap in key areas such as data analytics. We must get away from the idea that universities alone should be responsible for sustaining the talent pool. We believe apprentice programmes have a vital role to play as a viable alternative to university that can deliver the new and emerging skills businesses require.

“We must also consider the skills businesses are demanding and ensure these are reflected in the way courses are taught at university. For example, analytical reasoning, data science and business analysis are currently amongst the top 25 most in-demand skills for today’s workforce – these skills will be crucial for young people as they enter tomorrow’s workplace, whatever career path they choose. Rather than hiving these off into a few technical subjects, we need to look more holistically at how data literacy and other core skills can be embedded into a far broader swathe of university courses.”

#ResultsDay2019: Young People Expect to Change Careers Twice in Lifetime
August 15, 2019

One in five (23%) young people expect to change careers twice during their working lifetime, according to research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

Its survey, of 1,001 16- to 24-year-olds in the UK, found that more than one in 10 (14%) expect to change careers three times and 16% expect to change careers once. Just 16% said they expected to not change career at all during their working life.

However, despite the UK workforce changing jobs at an ever-increasing rate today, one in 10 (9%) young people believe they will never change the company they work for, researchers said.

The research also found that many young people aspire to be their own boss, with more than two-fifths (43%) of 16- to 24-year-olds saying they have ambitions to set up their own business during their working life.

Those from a more disadvantaged background were found to be the most ambitious, with almost half (49%) of young people from a lower socio-economic background saying they want to start their own business. This compared to 46% from a middle socio-economic background and 44% with a higher socio-economic background.

Similarly, gender doesn’t act as a barrier to entrepreneurial ambition, with the findings revealing that young women are just as determined as young men to set up their own business (42% versus 44% respectively).

When asked how prepared they feel for the future workplace, respondents predicted they will need to upskill to remain suitable for jobs. The majority (61%) expect to have to upskill during their working life and 55% believe they will have to retrain over the course of their career in order to retain an advantage in the job market. The key skills young people believe they will need in the future workplace are communication skills (42%), problem-solving skills (35%) and tech skills (31%).

Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at the University of Manchester, told HRmagazine he is “not surprised” that young people expect to have multiple careers.

“They are right to say they will change careers at least twice. This is partly because of new technology and AI, which is likely to deskill jobs and make them less satisfying over time,” he said.

“So young people will want to try something different and, for some, this will lead them to want to become an entrepreneur and start their own business.”

HR will need to find new, innovative ways of retaining young employees in order to compete with the lure of starting their own businesses, Cooper added.

“For HR this means if you want to retain young people – in a corporate or public sector body especially – you better make their jobs more interesting and, in a sense, let them develop a micro-entrepreneurial business within your business,” he said.

“You won’t retain them by being process driven which is what a lot of HR is now. So HR faces a challenge to break away from being process driven, to instead find ways to enable people to do something more innovative and creative. This means giving employees opportunities to have experiences both within and outside the organisation.”

Adam Harper, director of strategy and professional standards at AAT, added that businesses need to focus on supporting young people entering employment today. “It’s crucial that we support young people’s ambitions by providing them with the solid foundations and transferable skills they need to succeed in whatever career they choose, particularly when they are looking to start a business themselves,” he said.