5 min reading

I wish someone had told me this…

With National Careers Week – the annual celebration of careers guidance and resources – coming up on 4th-9th March, we asked 10 local professionals for the advice they would have found invaluable when entering the world of work. Ready to supercharge your career? OK, let’s go…

The piece of advice that James, CEO of CUBE, always comes back to is prioritise building relationships. “In such a collaborative and competitive field, who you know can often be just as important as what you know,” he says. “Take the time to connect with classmates, tutors and industry professionals. A chance encounter or a recommendation from a contact might just lead to your next opportunity.”

“I wish someone had told me to grab every opportunity to get involved in projects and initiatives – even if they fall outside of my role,” says Principle of Buckinghamshire College Group Jenny. Max at Zenopa also recommends you be open to everything presented to you. “Opportunities don’t always turn out as you first think and the experience you can gain along the way is priceless.”

The Co-Founder of Alcom IT, Abe, discovered early on that having a bright outlook can transform your luck. “No matter what you do, life will always put challenges in the way and staying positive is the best way to overcome these obstacles.”

“The one thing I wish I’d realised sooner is don’t wait for permission,” reveals Richard at AtkinsRealis. “Whether it’s proactively taking on more responsibility, getting involved in a new project or suggesting improvements to operations, businesses are always looking for more efficient and innovative ways of working, so make it happen.”

“It’s just as important to understand why you have been successful as it is to learn from your mistakes,” says Andrew, Manufacturing Director of De Soutter Medical. Flannery Plant Hires Skills Director, Paul, similarly believes asking questions is one of the best ways to learn. “In my early career, I regret not speaking up if I didn’t understand something.”

As a student, Lisa wasn’t aware of how big the hospitality industry is and that it goes beyond hotels, restaurants and bars. Now she’s Head of Missenden Abbey International Hotel and Hospitality School, she’s made it her mission to inform the next generation of the vast opportunities the industry offers. “You never know where you may end up with a career in hospitality.”

Don’t follow a path because someone else thinks it is best,” implores Align’s Employment and Education Manager Lilia. “As a professional who has experienced both university and an apprenticeship, I could have saved a lot of time (and money!) if I knew what a great start an apprenticeship provides.”

Last but certainly not least, Rebecca at Fairhive implores you to be open to changing your mind. “It is perfectly normal to be unsure about your career path, so you should explore every opportunity to gain experience.”

Want to discuss any of the points made here in more detail? All 10 businesses will be exhibiting at the careers inspiration event, Bucks Skills Show, on 6th-7th March. Bag a free ticket now.

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