Managing my money for young adults
Managing my money for young adults

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Managing my money for young adults

3 Starting a career

Another route when you leave school is to move straight into work.

In the next video Karl Digby talks about the factors you should take into account when choosing your career.

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So Karl, thank you for joining me. When do students start to get career advice?
Well, the students actually start getting careers advice from a very, very early age. And their careers advisors are happen to be their parents a lot of the time. So they start to give advice about their own jobs. So although their experience is a little bit limited, they do start to learn about jobs.
When they come to school, what we like to do is a bit more of a subtle way. It's not the sort of Year 7 and 8, we don't get them and start having one-to-one appointments. What we like to do is give them opportunities. So we do a lot of trips that will sort of expand on their skill set, on their experience, start to build a profile of who they are, so later on, when I start to ask them questions about what they would like to do, they can draw upon those experiences, and I can draw upon those experiences and start to sort of point them in directions that they might have an interest in.
In Year 9, we do work experience. So students actually start to think about where they're going to work. Now actually comes across as quite a scary proposition, but actually students really, really enjoy that time.
And then in Year 10, they will go on and do that work experience. And that's where they start to develop those skills, find out those passions as well. Part of those experiences are all about inspiring them as well, so you know, to make sure that they know what's out there but also create an inspiration for them to look further into that job as well.
And when they do come for careers help, what questions do they raise?
My favourite one is, how much money will I make with this job? So what job pays the most money, which is always a favourite. I identify that they're money-motivated.
But another one is, what courses should I choose? What subjects should I do for certain careers, which is always an interesting one. But what I like to do is try and get the students to ask questions of themselves.
So, what do they enjoy? What are they passionate about? What are their inspirations? What experiences do they have already? Trying to work on that profile that I mentioned earlier, so identify what they're good at, so that we can look at areas that they can look into.
What are your views on internships?
I think internships are a fantastic opportunity. Now when an employer sits down with a candidate, they're going to ask, what experience do you have? Now if you don't have any, you haven't got an answer. So internships, work experience is vital for you to have that competitive edge.
So I think internships are extremely important. They also give you a wealth of knowledge, the experience of the workplace. Now that isn't always about the job, in particular. Sometimes it might be that you might have to make the cups of tea. But all of that is part of working life. And I think it's important that young people and students get that experience as early on. And I think internships give you that opportunity.
What do you think prospective employers are most impressed by? Is it academic qualifications? Is it work experience? Is it extracurricular activities or other kind of well challenge type things that they do?
For me, it has to be a balance. And I think students need to really understand that it needs to be balanced as well. I mean an academic qualification can get your foot in the door, you know, but work experience is the evidence of you using that knowledge, your extracurricular activities, also about your character, what kind of personality do you have? Do you have that work ethic? Are you willing to go above and beyond? So all of those things are really, really important. And employers are going to be looking for all of those.
Now in terms of different careers, again, is making sure you do the research. What is your employer looking for? If they are looking for an academic qualification, then you will need to go and get that. If they are looking for work experience, then make sure you get it. It's also about doing your research as well.
How do you prepare students for interviews?
Well, during my one-on-one times, what we like to do is do interview sessions. We also do workshops as well. I also do a lot of interactive games as well. I also make available a lot of resources online for them to go and look at.
With unemployment at a 40-year low, do you think it's easy for students to get into the careers that they want, or do you think it's still a real challenge for them?
Well, my thoughts are has it ever been easy to get a job? And I think what's important is to make sure that young people have the competitive edge, but also to make sure that they identify their skill set so that they can actually go from one career to another.
A lot of us now don't stay with one job for the rest of our lives. We will move around. And I think that's the reason why things aren't always looking as great statistically, because we have a lot of people that move careers you know, and things like that.
So I think, is it easy to get a job? No, it's not. We're in a very, very competitive market. But if you do some of the things I've mentioned, you know, the academic qualifications, the work experience, you make yourself more competitive.
You also need to learn how to sell yourself as well. It's no good just having these things on paper. Can you perform? Can you present? All of those things are really, really important. So I think you know, with that we should see an increase in terms of the statistics.
Wonderful. Thank you very much for that. That was fantastic and some really good advice there. So, thank you.

End transcript
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The decision should involve serious planning. Here’s a checklist of essential considerations.

  • What is the long-term career you’re looking to start?
  • What training and further study is involved? And is your employer going to pay for this?
  • Will the job you’re looking for mean relocating from the family home? If so, are you financially prepared for this?
  • Will the job you’re looking for mean a significant commute to work? If so, have you researched and factored in the cost of your travel?
  • Have you looked for advice? What advice have you found? Seek advice not only from the careers service at your school or college but also from people who have experience of the work you want or who have worked for the companies you’re applying to.
  • Have you prepared a carefully constructed curriculum vitae (CV) to support your job applications? If you’ve had a part-time job already, this will help make your CV attractive to prospective employers. Successfully completing an internship will help too. This is touched on below.

Working through these factors reduces the risk that your job and career choices are leaps in the dark.

Your first move into employment is one that can be reversed. Often, early in working life people change jobs with some frequency until they find the role and career (and employer) they’re comfortable with. Try not to make too many moves, though, as this might not look good on your CV.

It could well be that you start your career by first doing an internship. An internship is usually a short-term period of unpaid work – although employers might cover at least part of your costs of getting to and from work. Doing an internship helps make your CV attractive to prospective employers because it demonstrates a positive attitude towards starting a career. Often, interns find that they’re subsequently hired on a normal working contract by the employer.

Bear in mind that going from school straight into work does not prevent you from applying to go to college or university in the future. Universities do welcome applications from older, ‘mature’ people who bring with them experience of working life. If there’s any likelihood of you aiming to become a mature student do make sure you retain evidence of your pay from work – ideally your annual P60 forms that detail the income earned and tax paid in each financial year. These details will help provide proof of your financial independence from your parents and will, therefore, help you to get financial support in addition to the normal student loans to support you while you study.


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