Each volunteer signed up with Inspiring the Future has a unique and different career story. Some found school easy then struggled to click in University, others dropped out and took a vocational pathway and all of them have worked in different jobs and had different experiences that have brought them to where they are today. You know each of your students are different and will experience life after school in their own way, give them an idea of what they could expect with a career insight talk! Career insight talks are simply ITF volunteers getting up in front of a class or group and sharing their story; their experiences, the challenges and the highlights, to help young people hear different journeys and different options. This could happen in an assembly, a classroom or to a small group of students interested in a particular career. A great way to integrate a career insight talk is to invite a volunteer into your subject lesson, to give a relevant talk on their experience with those skills in their work (like a Journalist in an English class).
Why is it valuable for volunteers?
Your story is diverse and different compared to the person you work next to, and students need to hear about what you experienced and overcame to get to where you are today. For many young people, they are disconnected from a real idea of the challenges and evolutions that take place within a career. They believe that if their career doesn’t proceed upwards on a linear path, that they’ve failed. When confronted with this, many young people give up and struggle to get started again. By sharing your challenges and how you learn resilience, you can inspire young people to keep going in their career even when things get difficult.
The other benefit of doing career insight talks is a positive promotion of your industry or field. By sharing what you find enjoyable and rewarding about your job, you may inspire other people to pursue a similar career! Don’t be afraid to be honest with the students you speak to about the hard stuff too – when equipped with the realities of careers and pathways, young people are able to make informed choices that head them in the right direction sooner.
Why is it valuable for students?
Hearing about real employers experiences in their career and what pathway they took equips students to make informed decisions. If a young person interested in working in finance hears the experience and realities of a mortgage brokers job and doesn’t like it – great! They now won’t waste their energy pursuing that pathway, they can now explore different areas of finance.
Other benefits of career insight talks include the broadening of students horizons because having a short classroom talk is so easy to organise, you can expose your students to a variety of different careers and options with a variety of different speakers over the year. Each speaker would bring something different that may spark in different students. Many young people only know of the careers of their parents and their friend's parents, as well as the ones they see at school. Bringing in outside speakers on a variety of industries or careers expands their list immensely!
Lastly, the evidence for the benefits for students future is too clear to ignore. According to research done by the Education and Employers Taskforce, the more young people (aged 14-19) come in to contact with employers whilst they are at school, the less likely they are to become NEET (not in education, employment or training) after school (19-24).