If you consider twins who have been at school together and even took the same degree at the same university, they would have had slightly different life experiences at that point and would bring slightly differing skills and experiences to an employer.
Once they enter the world of work, experiences diverge further .There are different clients to work with, different staff to manage, different managers to report to, different products to work with , different problems encountered and overcome, different marketing campaigns to plan and execute.
So everyone’s career is unique because it is made up of many components. Their education, life experience, talents, and work experience, as well as their skills, knowledge and personality.
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Career advice for teenagers
So how can you plan? The best advice I can give you is to get the best education you can. Study subjects that interest you. Keep as many doors open as possible.
This means keeping your options wide open. Don’t specialise too early. Try to learn a little about as many subjects as you can.
What if Albert Einstein had never studied theoretical physics? We would not have his famous theory of relativity, and quantum theory might never have been developed – maybe we would not have space travel.
Or if Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, had never become a pharmacologist? Medicine would be completely different. Many people’s lives would not have been saved by penicillin.
Or if John Lennon and Paul McCartney had never learnt to play the guitar? The rich and diverse world of music we enjoy would just not be the same.
So try as many things as you can, leisure activities as well as educational. Join in at sports, learn a musical instrument, go ice-skating and swimming, take up golf –perhaps you will find a career in leisure?
What about politics and current affairs –do they interest you –maybe you are a future Prime minister or news reporter?
And take your education seriously too .Qualifications can open doors for you, and lack of qualifications can mean some doors remain closed.
For example many large corporations have graduate entry schemes, and these are the best route to management. We will look at that in more detail later.
But not everyone is academic, and some of us are destined to work in other sectors, perhaps the caring sector, or leisure. So be realistic, assess your academic ability with career advisors, family and teachers. Go as far as you can with education, but when you are no longer enjoying your studies, perhaps it is time to look for something else.
Lifetime learning is a well-accepted principle now, and you can always come back to studying later. Bear in mind though that “later” you may have family and responsibilities that will make returning to study a challenge economically .That’s why it is best to go as far as you can in your youth when you don’t have any other responsibilities.