How my work experience led to my future career choice

By Youth Ambassador Luke Mayo,

I’m 19, in my second year of university, and ‘employability’ (which is another way of saying ‘being ready and skilled for work’) is something that’s being drummed into me. Many possible roads lie before me, and all kinds of possible career paths… but which one should I take? And when?When it comes to the world of work, nothing’s predictable and surprises await at every turn. I myself am all too familiar with this. If I’d known what awaited me, I would have been more enthusiastic!

My first experience of employment was part of my secondary school’s work experience scheme. I found a place in my old primary school, where I assisted the classroom teachers (mostly by running errands and helping the children with computer skills). This was my first time in any form of employment. My first time being treated like an employee. From my very first day, I thought it would be best to take each day as it came and learn as much as I could.

The time I spent in the school was brilliant. I learnt many valuable skills from building positive relationships with the staff team and the pupils. The atmosphere and way of doing things in a working environment was different to any I had experienced before. As first experiences of employment go, I’d say this one went really well! I now have a better understanding of my starting point. Teaching, or passing wisdom onto others, is something I now know I can do well. The added value for me and my future career is the time that I spent at the primary school. It’s proven experience that will increase my chance of success in getting into the teaching profession.

I’m currently halfway through learning about the subject I’ll end up teaching (English). That gives me another year and a half before I graduate.  Then I’ll re-apply and start my next level of study, the Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).Right now, that seems like a long time away to even start considering my overall long-term employment! At the same time, I know time passes quickly in the world of careers. Each level of study I take on will have a definite effect on my future and needs lots of careful thinking about, so I can try to nip any nasty surprises in the bud!

I know I’ll start off teaching. I know that the current route I’m taking is the right one for me, right now… but what comes after will be my next surprise!

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