Thinking about myself

Woman and child spending time together
Figure 1.3

The next stage is to start thinking about yourself. A good way to do this is to ask yourself four questions:

  • How do I see myself now?
  • What am I most proud of?
  • What makes me happy?
  • How would I like to see myself in the future?

Have a look at the following examples first.

We know that Janet is studying health and social care now that she has a little more time to herself. Her choice of study is influenced by her longer-term plan, as you can see by looking at her notes about herself.

Table 1.3 Janet: thinking about myself

How do I see myself now?What makes me happy?
I care for my son, and I volunteerI enjoy volunteering
What am I most proud of?How would I like to see myself in the future?
Being a carer for my son. It changed me as a person. I’d probably say for a better person.I’d like to be a manager for a services provider, for people with disabilities

Jade has found paid work that she enjoys and that she can combine with her caring role. While she knows what she’d like to do, she has plenty of work ahead to achieve her aim of becoming a qualified youth worker.

Look at Jade’s thoughts about herself in the table below and listen to what she has to say about herself.

Table 1.4 Jade: thinking about myself

How do I see myself now?What makes me happy?

I’ve found the work I’d like to do after a difficult start

I’ve got great support from the carers’ centre and other young adult carers

My dad’s health is up and down but my work is supportive about me balancing work, caring and studying

The close relationship between me and my dad

My work with young people – I can’t believe I’m actually getting paid to do this now

My friends

What am I most proud of?How would I like to see myself in the future?

Gaining an A in Art when I was at school even though I felt discouraged by my teacher

Gaining my job, through my volunteer work


A qualified youth worker

Managing caring, work and further study

Listen to Jade talking about her situation.

Download this video clip.Video player: jade_snippet_2.mp4
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I’d left school like I’d been getting bulled really badly so I was leaving and um with my caring role it was quite difficult to study and stuff, so I wasn’t doing very well. Em, but I left with as many qualifications as I could. And, and I went onto college. I did a kind of introduction to childcare. It was NPA, Playwork and Childcare.
And the college tutor said ‘Oh well I don’t think you’re going to manage the next year’, em so instead of encouraging me to go on and do more studying and keep battling on, she kind of said no, you’re not really good enough. So that kind of put me down a bit. Em but I’d got told from a couple of friends, look that’s not right. You should go and see someone. But by the time I actually kinda went and seen someone, it was a bit late to go back to college. So I was like well I’ll try next year. So I was like well I’m not sitting doing nothing. I need out the house. I’ll go and see if I can get voluntary work, because getting a job’s not very easy.
Em I’d phoned up Capability Scotland and I’d said look are you looking for any befrienders or any volunteers to do anything? They said yeah come on down for an interview. I went down, the woman’s speaking to me and she was like, she was asking my interests and I was telling her about my caring role and stuff. She said well that’s really inspiring. I actually know someone who might actually be able to help you get into education, em or employment. So I went along to the employability hub in Paisley and they took me on a six month course called TOPS which is Training Opportunities in the Public Sector. Em, they took me in and they kind of helped boost my confidence a bit more as well, while looking for jobs, and being able to say I don’t think this is right. And the training placement they put me on was with the council and the job that I actually do now, em. So it’s really great to be like, yeah, I started off this was just training and then I didn’t want to finish it so it was voluntary. And they said ‘Oh well we’ll take you on as an employee’ and I’ve been working there for a good couple of months now.
I’m hoping to do my PDA in Youth Work to kind of progress and get a qualification in the job that I actually enjoy. Um, and they are really understanding of my caring role. So it’s brilliant to have someone that understands that if you don’t turn up, or you turn up a little late, then they’re not going to shout at you and go ‘Oh well you’re kicked off the course – you just can’t be bothered.’ They actually know that there’s something going on, and they work around it.
End transcript
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Now listen to Dean’s thoughts about his situation. You might also want to review Dean’s earlier film clip too.

Download this video clip.Video player: dean_snippet_2.mp4
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In the future I would like to have a, a safer career. And something that’s maybe financially a bit better right now, because right now I’m just, I wouldnae say I’m making the breadline, that would be a lie but I’m making just enough to get by. And em it would be nice to have one that’s no as physically demanding because my body is falling apart. And em, it would be nice to have a more secure job, basically. Any sort of career that’s eh, and then that allows me to look after the family, and all that, just to be able to have more time to look after everyone plus no have to worry about if I’m off work.
I started studying IT back in high school. Um and I was really good at it. So I took it up at em, at college. And em it was going really well. Eh passed it, I passed it actually really fast, really quick. I was finished a lot faster than everyone else. But em we were hitting some financial difficulties so I had to leave. I’ve always kept my hands in a bit of IT, thereabout s, taking computers apart , putting them back and fixing software that have got problems. Em but yeah it’s always been a hobby of mine that I would thought that I could turn into a career because it was something that I was quite passionate about.
Yeah, well I’ve started off on the ‘My Digital Life’, that’s part one, and I’m going to the, well I’m hoping to go on to the software development route and maybe after that hardware. For now, software, that’s the main important one.
Eh, well I’m most proud about the fact that I can pay my bills, that’s the important one. Everything that I own is mine. I’ve worked hard for everything that I’ve got
Eh yeah basically everything that I own, pay bills, eh that’s important. Looking after my family, that’s, it’s almost like its expected of me, but it’s no something that I try and dodge, it’s that, because I know they would do the same for me. I know they have done the same for me. Um, I’m a relatively decent guy I suppose. [Laughs]
End transcript
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Now think about the following questions:

  • Do you have anything in common with Jade, Janet or Dean?
  • What is different about your situation and how you feel?