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Poor careers advice one of the reasons cited as stopping employees from getting into the right careers

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A third of UK employees are disappointed with their career progression, the Employee Outlook Survey: Focus on Skills and Careers survey has revealed.

2,000 people were asked to consider key factors relating to their upbringing, education and workplace that affect whether or not their career progression had met their expectations.

Over a quarter of respondents said their career path had failed to live up to their expectations, and 29% said they could not show their strength or potential while they are in the wrong career.

The survey, commissioned by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and career development, found that the most common workplace factor behind career disappointment is poor career management, followed by a lack of effective career training programmes and negative office politics.

It was found that poor careers advice was one of the reasons cited as stopping employees from getting into the right career; and bad career management prevented them from getting on once in the career.

Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, commented on the study: “Poor careers advice and guidance is holding back too many people at the start of their working lives and contributing to the increasing gap between the careers that people end up in versus the skills that they have. This skills mismatch undermines career satisfaction, employee engagement and ultimately productivity.”

The CIPD recommends that employers should prioritise career management, review their approach to flexible working practices and improve access to career training and development opportunities to keep employees engaged.

54% of Brits have career regrets

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A new career survey has found that the majority of British workers admit to feeling ‘creatively stifled’, and have a number of regrets regarding their career.

The study, commissioned by Arts University Bournemouth (AUB), polled 1,000 people in full time careers across the UK and found that 63% wish they were in a career in which they could make more use of their creative skills.

When asked about their career regrets, 23% wished they had invested more time when first choosing the right career, 21% regretted their choice of school, college, or university, and 20% wished they had been offered more career guidance at the beginning of their career path.

When asked what they would change about their career choice if they could go back in time, around a quarter would have spent longer looking into career options, and 17% would spend less time worrying about the opinion of family and pursue the career that they really wanted. Respondents also stated they would have chosen a university that offered more support for their future career path or go back and take more risks when choosing a career.

The survey also showed that support in the early stages of decision-making is key to choosing a fulfilling career; lack of confidence, lack of suitable contacts, and lack of parental support were all cited as key reasons for not pursuing a dream career.

When asked about their future careers, 55% of respondents would consider a career change, and 42% saying they would actively go out of their way to move into a more creative career.

UK businesses fail to provide career support to 25 million Brits

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A new career survey has discovered that UK businesses fail to provide frequent or effective career guidance to their employees. According to over 4,000 employees polled by Right Management, the majority of businesses in Britain are not providing regular and effective careers advice for their workers. By losing their focus on career development, they are harming retention, productivity and business performance

Talking to employees aged between 25 and 55 to understand to what extent employers are helping them manage their careers, the Right Management survey found that only 31% feel confident enough in their ability to initiate a conversation about career progression outside of annual performance reviews.

46% of those surveyed had never engaged in a quality conversation with their manager about their career, with 84% of employees talking about it with their employers only once or twice a year. The survey found that the majority of people wanted to discuss their career goals more frequently than they do currently.

Ian Symes, Managing Director at Right Management said: “It’s time for organisations to relinquish career development models that are almost 50 years out of date. Careers advice meetings need a completely different approach to meet employees’ changing career paths and ensure an engaged and high-performing workforce.”

The study found that, by employers providing better career support, they would benefit from employees being more engaged and happier in their careers, more likely to share ideas and more likely to succeed in their careers within the organisation.

Career counseling and guidance, at any stage along the career path, helps individuals by analysing their current career; and talking through their future career options and issues. If career support is not available through employers, talking through options with objective, qualified careers advice professionals will give individuals the answers to questions about their career path.

Dreaming of a career change? How about a portfolio career?

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Thinking about a career change but don’t know where to start? Like many others, you may be worried about the financial implications of changing your career, the need to train for a new career or the lack of a comprehensive strategy to get you where you need to be in your career.

By the time you’ve reached your 30’s and beyond, you may have established a successful career, but lifestyle and career priorities change as you get older. Your career may feel stale or boring, it might no longer fit into your family life or fail to fulfil your values and interests.

If your career doesn’t motivate you or reflect your ambitions and needs, is it time for a career change? It’s never too late to re-evaluate who you are, what drives you and how a career change can help you accomplish your career dreams.

Author, business coach and speaker Pamela Slim is the creator of the “side hustle”. The premise of this is that, in order to facilitate your change in career direction, you needn’t stop everything and start again. Using your time appropriately to begin a new career in your spare time could be the answer to building up the experience and financial security you need before you make the bigger career changes.

This approach can be seen as realistic, or even pessimistic, but with a bit of careful thought and action, you too could be on your way to a more fulfilling career direction without immediately giving up the career you already have.

As long as you have a passion for your second career, you will be motivated to find the time and energy to start building your new career while holding down your existing day job. Freelance activities like writing, photography, cooking, childcare, design, gardening, personal training and other second careers could all fit around your present career. It will bring in some extra money to start you off.

With this second career you can begin moving to a portfolio career model in which you will control your own time and income to better suit the lifestyle you want now.

Schools not incentivised to take careers advice seriously, say business leaders

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Business leaders are backing an MP’s call for improved careers advice in schools. A letter written to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan by Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holdness, has been co-signed by The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), and EEF, the manufacturers’ organization.

The general feeling amongst business leaders is that current career guidance is too weak. As Martin McTague, policy director at the FSB, said: “Schools are under a lot of pressure to deliver on a wide range of fronts, so it’s not surprising careers advice has slipped down the priority list. But getting good, independent careers advice at the right time can transform a young person’s chances of finding a career they love and fulfilling their career potential. We think this change will provide the nudge schools need to up their game – ultimately leading to better long-term careers advice for young people.”

The letter calls for statutory guidance to be amended so that all schools are required, rather than only recommended, to work to obtain a quality award for careers advice, information, education and guidance that meets an approved standard determined by the Department for Education.

Stuart, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group for careers advice, guidance and information, states in his letter:

“The central problem facing careers education is that schools are not incentivised to take careers advice seriously. In our high stakes education system, school leaders will understandably prioritise those issues that will lead to serious consequences if they fail to deliver them. Careers advice does not fall into this category.

“Having made it compulsory for schools to meet an agreed careers advice quality standard, the appetite for high quality career guidance would leap among school leaders.”

Without quality careers advice and guidance in schools, young people end up on the wrong courses and either in the wrong career or not in work at all, leading to a lifetime of unhappiness and big problem for the nation’s economy.

Graduating this year? Time to think about your career

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Do you know what to do for a career when you graduate? Don’t worry if you don’t! It’s a common feeling at this time of year, when you leave your student life and out into the career market.

It’s not a time to panic, but to assess who you are, what you enjoy, and what you want to do for your career. There are so many career opportunities and options it can very easily seem overwhelming. There are many important career decisions to be made but if you think logically about your motivations it’s easy to decide what to do for your career.

What career is right for you?

This is the biggest question you can answer, so break it down. Think about what you value in your career. Is it:

  • Helping others?
  • Money
  • Following your passion
  • Life/work balance?
  • Flexibility and freedom over what you do?

Narrowing down what motivates you to work hard will help you to evaluate the best career options for you.

What are your career strengths and weaknesses?

Knowing what you are good at, and what you are bad at, is a key factor in deciding what career is right for you. Be honest with yourself, and try and get unbiased opinions where you can. Don’t rely on family or friends who only want the best for you and may also have their own agenda for your future career! This is where using an independent careers advisor is a great advantage. Using professional tools, such as career tests or career profiling as well as speaking to an experienced, qualified career counselor, will leave you with a better sense of your personality, motivations and skills and a clear idea of what is the best career for you.

What do you enjoy?

You won’t last long in any career if you don’t enjoy what you do. Think about your hobbies and what you have enjoyed studying and doing during your time as a student or any other work, paid or voluntary, that you have undertaken.

Take time to try out different career roles to get a feel for what you like. Work experience in a few different industries can be a real eye opener. You may think you want a career in media, but the realities of that career path may not suit how you work. It’s important to get a feel of the job before you commit and get a career plan in place.

Build up your CV

Now you know a bit more about what you want to do, it’s time to hone your skills to make an impact at job interviews. Gain experience, speak to knowledgeable people in your industry and really get a feel for the career you want to enter.

Not only will it confirm your goals (or alternatively show you that it may not be the right career path for you before you go too far down that route!) but such experience bolsters your CV giving you a greater advantage in any of the career paths you might apply for.

This can also apply to activities outside of your career. When you’re in a quiet period between studies and work, use your time productively to show your future employers your drive, transferable skills and personality. Now is the time to consider some volunteering, join a community group or work on a blog or website. Good luck!

What if your child gets bad examination results

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There is huge pressure on students these days to get good GCSE and A level grades in order to give them the best chance of getting a great career in the future, but the pressure on parents can also be intense. You don’t have to sit the course personally or slog through the revision; you are spared the sitting of the mocks and exams themselves but unfortunately, you are not spared the fallout from the examination results. Even if you do not have to open the envelope when it falls on the mat you are still going to feel as sick as your child if the results are less than expected or hoped for. You need serious careers advice. You have to share the disappointment, but be objective and have the correct careers advice at your fingertips.

You may be lucky and have some prior warning; it is all too easy in an examination to fail to interpret what a question was asking. Many students do not read what the question is asking but rather what they want to answer. Your child may already realise that they have done that.

But all too often there is no warning. Assuming that your child has done the course and completed the revision he or she should have attained a pass mark. However, there are lots of reasons why they might fail. The first step is to have an honest conversation with your child as to the real reasons why they have not got the grades expected.

This conversation may actually yield surprising results: some children will fail because they have done too mush revision. Our brains can cope with a great deal of knowledge, but unfortunately it has a limited attention span when it is processing information. Sitting and studying for twelve straight hours can be counter-productive.

To have studied efficiently, it is necessary to have enough sleep and a balanced diet. Some aspects of studying can be boring and seem pointless.

If the course was too academic, it may be that there is a more vocational hands-on approach that would suit your child better.

It may be that the exam results were not good enough for their first choice for higher education, but may meet the requirements of the second choice. Refer to UCAS if you require more options for higher education. Grades simply not good enough will mean either a re-sit in January or June or a career path rethink. Remember that a re-sit will only postpone the problem if your child is not studying the right subjects in the first place. Speak to Career Analysts if your child needs help in picking the right subjects.

If there are good reasons why your son or daughter has not acquired the necessary grades at A level, why not speak directly to the university and see if they are willing to hold the place open. They may offer a conditional place for the following year (conditional upon certain education requirements being met)

A gap year can provide time to consolidate options and develop essential life skills. Sometimes opportunities to go to university can be deferred. It is no accident that many distance learning opportunities start their academic years in February.

All is not lost because examination results are not up to scratch. What is necessary is to make informed decisions quickly and make the best of different education or career choices.

Your child has their GCSE results – it’s time for career and education decisions

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So, your child has received their GCSE results – Good? Bad? Indifferent? However they are taking it, you must be thinking about their future career and what education possibilities there for them. Whether or not they got the grades they wanted, or know what they want to do for their career, professional careers advice can smooth this process.

Talking to a professional career counselling service, even at this young age, can really help your teenagers pick their way through the overwhelming amount of careers advice they will get. Our expert careers advisors have worked with tens of thousands of teenagers to assist them in uncovering their strengths, weaknesses, skills and goals, what A levels and degree choices would suit them best and what career they should aim for.

During student years, young people need to make important education and career decisions. Their A level, degree and career choices will have long-term effects on personal happiness and long-term financial success, so it is crucial that career decisions are made rationally, and with full reference to their interests, personality and abilities. We can help them identify these specific factors and apply them to potential career paths.

Making decisions post-GCSEs, with a specific career path in mind, can smooth the process of successfully completing A levels and university, and move them forward into their dream career.

However, not every teenager will automatically want to go on to pursue further education, A levels and degree. Depending on your child’s skills and interests, they may want to follow a more vocational path, rather than a more academic one. Your child will gain more confidence and motivation pursuing a route that most suits their abilities, personality and career goals.

Our careers advice programme for teenagers considers what career would suit your child, their personality, skills and strengths. All teenagers are different, and our Occupational Psychologists have many years of experience working with many thousands of teenagers, including those with special needs, such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Our careers advice programme takes all circumstances into account.

We can help your teenager decide on suitable and fulfilling career pathways after their GCSE results, and involve you in the process. Find out more about our careers advice for teenagers programme here https://www.careeranalysts.co.uk/careers-advice-teenagers.php

Bad exam results. What does that mean for career options?

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Parents can think that bad examinations results mean the end to good career prospects. This is far from the truth; bad exam results do not mean a lifetime of failure. They may mean an end to a university education, but not everyone thrives working towards a degree in a university environment. Sometimes the perfect career for you is sitting in front of you now, without taking further education.

Failing examinations can be a shock, but it can also be a relief and a fantastic motivator. Many a career path has begun at a low level. Sometimes the alternatives to a university education can offer even greater rewards from career challenges. When some of the career options are removed, it can clarify the mind on what is actually possible for a career path.

Failing exams does not mean the end to the dream of a university education – in some cases it can mean postponing it. Distance learning has now become a part of mainstream education, to the point that the Open University in Milton Keynes educates more university graduates in psychology than any other university in Europe. Brian May, formerly with Queen, was awarded a doctorate in physics in August 2007, thirty-six years after leaving school.

Today, according to Prospects UK, psychology is the third most popular degree choice, though achieving that degree holds many career opportunities and only fifteen percent go on to become chartered psychologists.

Leaving school can also an opportunity to embark on the path to independence and some people want that at an earlier age than others. In the business sector a masters in business administration (MBA) is a highly sought after qualification, employers love it. However, a natural entrepreneurial flair may be more useful to those who wish to embark on a career in their own business. Sir Richard Branson had only three “O” Levels to his name, but at seventeen he had begun a successful student advisory service – and look what he did after that! Bill Gates never graduated, nor did Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

For help in making the right career choices and deciding whether A levels and/or a degree would suit you call us for careers advice on 0800 999 7778.

Exam Results – What are the next steps in your teenage child’s career path?

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The arrival of GCSE and A-Level results is a testing time for families. The pressure on your child to do well, and give them the best chance of starting their career positively, can cause major stress for them and you! So what can you do to lighten the load? Here are our top tips:

1) Talk to your teenager

Keep communication open by discussing their future.

Ask them to think about these questions:

  • What career would suit me?
  • What career am I able to do?
  • What do I want to achieve in my career?
  • What are my career goals?
  • What career path should I follow?

Listen to what they say and attempt to offer objective career guidance. This is difficult for parents as naturally your hopes for your child are high. Most teenagers would benefit from speaking to a careers advisor – their neutrality allows the teen to speak freely and so opens up constructive discussions about their career path.

2) Keep Calm

Emotions can run high in teenage years and tempers can flare. Understand that your son or daughter may be apprehensive about their capabilities and worried about what their future career path will hold. Try not to fix on exactly what your child’s career will be, but think about their strengths and weaknesses, and what would be a good fit for their personality and interests. This will help them make a final choice about their career path and further education, if relevant.

3) Get professional careers advice

Getting professional career guidance at this point for your teenager can be very rewarding. Our experienced careers advisors – who are all fully qualified Occupational Psychologists – are trained to help and support, even if your child has little or no idea of what career they would like to do.

We also understand that you may wish to be involved in your teenager’s new career choice too, so we offer Parent and Guardian Extension sessions – https://www.careeranalysts.co.uk/parents-and-guardians.php In the teenager’s session on their own, they will focus on careers advice and you can use the extension to explore the outcomes of their consultation and talk about their career choice with the career counsellor. We find this is the perfect opportunity to discuss career recommendations in an objective and professional manner and it really does add value to the careers advice programme.

Want to find out more about our careers advice and career guidance for teenagers? Read more here about our programme https://www.careeranalysts.co.uk/careers-advice-teenagers.php