In preparation for my speech next week, I did a quick Facebook poll, as all good researchers do.
I asked on my personal page and in a few groups I am in, what career advice do you wish you heard at school?
Here are some of the responses that I loved the most. Enjoy them. I feel like sticking this on my fridge!
“Follow what makes you come alive. You will excel at the things you love, and try to work out what level of wealth you need to be happy/comfortable/satisfied. It’s very likely to be different from what your parents/teachers are telling you because it’s different for everyone. You can waste a lot of time chasing wealth you don’t need.”
“Sometimes you have a job AND a vocation, it’s not always possible to combine them (but great if you can).”
“I wish my parents hadn’t told me I was too tall to be a hairdresser and I’d just gone and done it! Now I’m selling shampoo and chained to my desk 24/7!”
“If you don’t find anything that makes you ecstatically happy, realise that low pay and contentment are better than misery and money.”
“You don’t have to have it all figured out by the time you’re 17. It’s ok to change your mind, your degree, your whole ‘career path’ at any time. While it helps, the final score in your HSC does not dictate the rest of your life. And finally. Do what you want to do. Do what brings you joy, fulfilment and a sense of purpose. It may take some time to work out what that is but that’s also okay.”
“No-one is going to hand you your dream career. You need to take charge of your own professional and personal development. Don’t wait for someone to give you an opportunity, you need to create opportunities for yourself.”
“Don’t forget that after school we’re all still learning… Even your self-assured CEO is still a student at heart.”
“The part of you that feels ‘too much’, the part of you that doesn’t fit in is actually the thing to embrace not fit it in. That fear is often the gatekeeper of your gift. Follow what lights you up and you will light up the world without even trying.”
“Take more risks and embrace mistakes.”
“Pick areas of interest, study them, see where they take you.”
“Plant big ideas. Your career can take you anywhere! Places you least expect!”
“Just because you like economics at High School does not mean you would like a career working in the Industry! Figure out what you are passionate about and be guided by that with your studies.”
“I always wanted to be a writer, but was always told that you can’t make a living off it. I wish someone told me that you can make a living doing whatever you love, with lots of hard work and planning.”
“Trust that quiet voice/gut instinct but if you aren’t quite brave enough to do that now (I wasn’t), you’ll have heaps more chances to later on.”
“I wish someone had told me to simply believe in myself and be myself and don’t let anyone undermine me. I think I spent decades trying to be the kind of person I thought employers might want and doing the kinds of jobs I thought I should do, instead of following my own path.”
“People usually employ the person they like the most. So, the importance of being friendly, smiling, believing in yourself and overcoming anxieties about public speaking are attributes that will help you in any career.”
“Follow your passion. Listen to your inner voice rather than all the ‘sensible’ advice others give you.”