National Careers Week

National Careers Week

Blog by Mary Thompson

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’ve attended two fancy dress parties with this theme in my youth, once I dressed as a sailor, the other time as a Native American. I grew up sailing on the Norfolk Broads, but in actual fact it never crossed my mind to join the Navy or anything like that. And as for the Native American……….?? I think it was just my favourite area of History in school and I loved the culture. 

My parents will tell you my very first dream was to be a Doctor with a Go-Kart. 

In actual fact, I never had any clue what I wanted to be when I grew up. Do I know now? Am I considered a grown-up now?! I always admired people who have always just known. Everyone knows at least one of those people. I have a family friend I grew up with, Jack. As a child he used to make frame-by-frame videos with his Scalextric and he would commentate the Grand Prix to the film. Jack is now a BBC Formula 1 Commentator, living the dream. For people like Jack it’s much more straightforward when choosing what subjects to study, whether to go to University, whether to do an apprenticeship... Even writing your CV, as it can be totally focused towards your goal.

But where do the rest of us begin? The simplest advice is to study what you enjoy, and/or what you’re good at. I went with the Arts for my degree and studied History with Philosophy. If I was to do it again, I’d probably study Business, Marketing, IT or one of the Sciences – these seem to be in demand. But a degree is still a degree, and if you don’t know what you want to do in your career then general is just fine. You’ll either find something you love or fall into something you love.

Part Time and Volunteering Work

If you’re still in school or college, I would definitely recommend looking for part-time work or even volunteering so you have something to write about in your CV. Any kind of work experience develops key skills which will be transferrable to a future career. When it comes to writing your CV, pretty much everybody will give you different advice, so it can be a bit of a minefield. Ideally, tailor your CV towards specific applications, highlighting the most relevant experience/ skills.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to write your CV or tips for a successful interview, head over to our website:

You’ll also find heaps of information and resources at

To those of you looking to start your career or even a change of direction in your career, good luck and remember to have fun!

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