Earning your stripes

Expert Opinion

I had the enlightening experience this week of a work experience student who came to Mash Media to decide if publishing was the direction she wanted to take her career in.

After one day in the office, she said she had seen enough of what we did to make her decision, and wouldn’t be coming back for any further days of experience.

She spent most of her time in the office telling staff that she found the work we did ‘boring’ but was sure working for a consumer woman’s magazine, such as OK or Hello, would be much more up her street.

She also told us she had no wish to go to university, and was reconsidering staying in school to take her A levels, as she was keen to get into employment and earn some cash.

The whole experience has made me want to question teachers and what they are telling their students about the working world.

Since when has it been easy to walk into a job with no qualifications and no hunger to succeed, unless it is exciting? The recession has meant that it is harder than ever to find a job, let alone in something perceived as ‘fun’. I put this question to all teachers and career advisors, what are you teaching your students about breaking into the working world?

A recent survey found becoming an event organiser has made a list of top five coveted jobs, aside being an author, TV presenter, teacher and therapist. Again, I assume because it is perceived as being glamorous and ‘fun’.

Whatever happened to hard graft, earning your stripes, working your way up? I task you teachers to stop sugar coating your careers advice.

– Vikki Carley, CMW Deputy Editor

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