Career journeys

Students walkingThere's more than one way to get where you want to be

Everyone's journey is different

Jess, Julie and Katie work for C&K Careers but each off them got there by very different routes.

Wherever you begin your career journey, think about where you'd like to get to and how you can add to your skills to help you get there ... and if you find where you are isn't where you wan to be, look at how you can take another path by adding to your skills and experience.

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Jess - careers adviser

As you were growing up and going through school what were your career dreams?

I didn’t really have any set ideas of what I wanted to do at school but I really enjoyed art and this was my main focus.

What route did you progress through in terms of jobs and experience?

After GCSEs I started a GNVQ in Travel and Tourism but I decided it wasn’t for me. I changed to A Levels and did art and English literature. I followed the crowd really and stayed where I was because of my friends. I finished my A Levels with pretty disappointing results as academic learning really isn’t for me. I then did a one year art foundation and did lots of different art subjects and found I enjoyed photography. I then progressed on to a photography HND, which was very project based. I took an extra year to do my HND as I struggled with learning and staying focused but managed to finish with a HND. You need to be very motivated to do art so I didn’t take this further. I often wonder if I had done an apprenticeship if I would have been more likely to be a photographer now.

I have always worked part-time in pubs and restaurants and so continued with this during and after college. I was offered an assistant managers job at one pub but decided I needed a change from evenings work. I decided I would try temp work, so I volunteered for a very short time at the Square Chapel in Halifax and then took a temp job working for Calderdale Council data inputing information for the rights of way team. I then did some work for the highways team and stayed there until a permanent post came up, which I applied for. I was a customer service assistant for approximately five years and took calls from the public about highways defects. Although I loved the people I worked with I outgrew this job. I don’t remember looking for lots of jobs but I saw one job that I thought looked interesting and I met the skills and qualifications criteria. I was successful in getting this job and started working for C&K Careers as an assistant careers adviser on the Infoline.

What did you learn along the way?

That work is hard and progression takes commitment and hard work.

Is your career/job what you expected?

The job I do now is a lot harder than I expected. There are lots of challenges working with young people who are unemployed and the job involves more than just careers support. Young people face a lot of barriers to finding work and these barriers often need addressing before someone is ready to start work or education.

Do you have any advice for people starting their career journey or making career decisions?

It’s ok to not know what you want to do. You are very lucky if you manage to find a job you love and it’s okay to test out different careers before you find one that fits you. Also sometimes we think we should be achieving what someone else is. It’s okay to do a job just to pay the bills and enjoy your free time.

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Julie – Business Development Manager

As you were growing up and going through school what were your career dreams?

I wanted to be a fashion buyer or needlework teacher throughout secondary school.

What route did you take to achieve your career in terms of qualifications?

The old GCEs and CSEs in secondary school, the rest of my qualifications were mostly gained through day release, that is working and on one or two days a week attending college or university - much harder to study whilst you are working but I did get paid.

What route did you progress through in terms of jobs and experience?

I started work part-time for my friend’s father who had a newsagents – I did this for three months until I got a full-time job – this work boosted my confidence as I was very shy. It made a difference when I attended interviews as I found I wasn’t as nervous. My first job was in an office as part of Burberry's sewing factory – I could sew, so felt comfortable in that environment and found I had something to say to the interviewer. From then on my confidence grew and I changed jobs regularly over the years progressing through management to my current job.

What did you learn along the way?

Patience, tolerance, tactfulness, managing people, problem solving, being pragmatic, ability to solve problems, optimistic and ‘can do’ attitude, and embracing change.

Is your career/job what you expected?

No but I have enjoyed it for the most part.

Do you have any advice for people starting their career journey or making career decisions?

Listen to people around you, think before you talk and treat people how you would like to be treated yourself.

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Katie – Careers Adviser / Information Specialist

As you were growing up and going through school what were your career dreams?

When I was at school I had a few different career ideas, I mostly wanted to be a nurse, primary school teacher or stonemason. 

What route did you take to achieve your career in terms of qualifications?

I did A levels in sociology, history and English literature then went to Anglia Ruskin University to do a Combined Hons in Sociology and History. After working for a few years at B&Q and Yorkshire Bank went back to university to study for my QCG (Qualification in Careers Guidance).

What route did you progress through in terms of jobs and experience?

My first job was at 14 as a chamber maid at a local hotel (I got sacked from this). At 15 I started working after school and at weekends in a bakers and butcher. At 17 I started working at B&Q and then moved to the Cambridge store where I worked through university and for a year full-time after I left. I moved back to Wakefield and started a job as a customer service adviser for Yorkshire Bank and then moved into education as a teaching assistant at Almondbury High School … this is where I decided to become a careers adviser, so I went back to Huddersfield Uni to study for my QCG. I got a job with Connexions Humber and moved to Hull then moved back two years later to work for C&K careers.

What did you learn along the way?

You can change your mind. There is nothing that can’t be done if you put all you have into it.

Is your career/job what you expected?

Yes it is … but there is a lot more to it that just giving IAG (information, advice and guidance).

Do you have any advice for people starting their career journey or career decisions?

Don’t worry, things will work out. Think about what you are good at as a person and how this relates to different careers. Do lots of research. Ask the people that know you best for advice, sometimes they know you better than you know yourself. 

 

Page updated February 2019

Our careers advisers are based at:

Head Office
C & K Careers Ltd
78 John William Street
Huddersfield
HD1 1EH

T: 01484 242000