6 tips to sharing your story with young people

Every story is a worthwhile story

Schools industry Partnership

Volunteering at an Inspiring the Future event for the first time can be nerve-wracking, but it will always be worthwhile. If you’re worried about giving a career talk, taking part in speed career networking or even helping with resumes, take a look at our 6 quick tips and take a deep breath.

1.      Don’t assume they know everything, simple foundational information is useful too

Young people might have the world of knowledge at their fingertips through the internet, but don’t underestimate the power of simple and actionable careers tips you’ve seen make a different throughout your career. If it’s relevant, share stories about how young employees have impressed you or what made their application stand out. For example, in a resume workshop, share what makes a bad application as well as simple tips for creating a great cv.

2.      Be humble and remember where you started

While it may have been a long time since you were in school, think back to the struggles and anxieties you had then and try to use your knowledge and experience to comfort and inspire students today. Be authentic with them, helping them see that anything is attainable by putting in the work – including where you are today!

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3.      Don’t underestimate the value in being clear about your career path

One of the biggest struggles for young people is knowing how to get from a to b and onward to e! Be clear about where you started and the steps you took to get there, as well as the different paths you know people take now. Be honest, don’t gloss over skills needed or challenges faced but map out your journey in a way that young people can learn from.

4.      Be open to curly questions

Don’t be afraid if a student asks you how much money you make or if you like your boss. Be diplomatic when answering and never feel you have to share something you’re not comfortable with. You could say ‘I earn enough’ with a laugh or ‘I’m paid within the industry standard’. 

5.      Share the good and the bad

It’s important for young people to hear about challenges and difficulties in your career or job, and more importantly, hear how you overcame or counter them. This helps teach them resilience and provides them with a good example of the normalcy of things being tough sometimes. Don’t be afraid to say your University degree was hard or that you work long days, help students make the most informed decisions they can by being honest with them.

6.      Think of some questions you can ask students if they are nervous

You might feel nervous and so might the students you’re talking to! Keep a couple of questions in mind just in case they aren’t sure what to say and get shy. You could ask them what careers they’re interested in? If or what they’ve already experienced at work so far, or what worries them about their future career? Ask things you feel you can contribute to, to keep the conversation going. Ultimately, don’t be nervous! Be honest and relaxed and the students you engage with will be too. Young people want to hear about your experience and your story, so don’t feel the need to perform.