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Young and Scared About The Future

Young and Scared About the Future.

A few days ago, City and Guilds published a survey they had carried out with 1,000 young people aged 17-19. Here are the principal findings:

  • 20% want to stay in full-time education longer than they intended.
  • 14% are worried that it would be very difficult to get a job or apprenticeship.
  • Many young people believe it would be best to put off entering the workforce because of job market uncertainty.
  • 44% believe that a degree is the best way to get a job.
  • 39% said they “know” that a degree will get them a better paid job.

What do these findings suggest to me? They suggest that a lot of young people are running scared. A lot of young people are very confused; and a lot of young people feel that they have a mountain to climb just to get their careers off the ground.

Well, let’s talk about running scared. Let’s address the confusion by exploding a few myths shall we? And maybe it would be a good idea to talk about how mountain climbers approach the ascent of real mountains.

Fear Must Not Take Over.

All of us know what it’s like to feel scared. All of us have experienced feeling scared. But are there good reasons for feeling scared…I mean really?

I’m sorry to have to say this but the answer is “yes.” You don’t need me to tell you what those reasons are. You know already. The truth is: it’s tough out there!

If you’re feeling scared, it’s okay to feel scared. It’s natural to feel scared in scary situations. You don’t need permission from me, or anybody else, to feel scared. It’s normal and it doesn’t make you a great big fearty!

What you must not do is to allow yourself to be intimidated by fear.

It’s when you allow yourself to be intimidated that you begin to take decisions that make no sense, and which are not in your own best interests. Refusing to be intimidated is a real test of your character.

I have nothing against studying for a degree. I have a degree myself. But there has to be a better reason for studying for a degree than just putting off what has to be faced eventually. Pulling out of a race just because you see no way of winning it is a sure sign that you’re allowing yourself to be intimidated.

Don’t Fall For Nonsense.

In any case, degrees do not guarantee better paid jobs. Four out of ten graduates end up in jobs that don’t require a degree. If that’s the kind of job you end up in after graduating, you could have obtained the same job without investing 3 years of your life, without racking up a student debt and you’d have 3 years invaluable work experience under your belt for heaven’s sake!

And consider this: when people drop out of a race, you find yourself in a race with dwindling competition. Not a bad position to be in. What is more, you’re going to have a story worth sharing in any future job interview; a story of how you hung on in there. When others were falling by the wayside, you chose to hang on in there. You showed resolve, you had guts, you showed character. When all this is over, character is going to count far more than any certificate you can wave under an employer’s nose. Oh yes!

Now let’s talk about climbing mountains.

In any climb, the objective is to reach the summit. But what is the summit? More to the point, what is your summit? It’s your dream job, the kind of job that excites your passions, which leaves you feeling that you fulfilled your purpose in life.

You will be told, of course, that all this talk of dreams and passions is all a load of nonsense. You’ll be told to “get real” because dreams and passions are not what pays the bills. True, but remember that your dream is to be found on the summit and you might have to get there via camps 2,3 and 4.

When climbers choose their mountain, there are a number of things they accept before they even set off:

  • They accept that the climb is not going to be easy. If it looks as if it might be, they look for a more challenging mountain with a summit that’s worth the effort it takes to reach it.
  • They are not expecting to go from base camp to the summit in one gigantic leap!
  • While the climb will be challenging, they’re not going to be reckless. A direct assault on the summit is likely to expose them to unnecessary risks. Their route will almost certainly follow a zig-zag course.

So will your career path. There are going to be times when you feel you’re going way off course; when you ask yourself, “What am I doing over here?” The answer is that this is part of the journey. You’re not off course. You’re certainly higher up the mountain than you were when you started. As long as you don’t lose sight of the fact that your ultimate goal is the summit, you’re on your way, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Each camp is taking you higher up the mountain and you’re not settling for second best when you pitch your tent there…as long as you don’t decide that “this is quite high enough!”

Finally, let’s not forget that mountaineers rarely climb solo. When the summit is reached, none of them did it on their own. When aiming for your summit, you’re entitled to take the role of lead climber, but you’re not going to make it on your own. You are going to need a support team. Who should be included in that team? It might include tutors, parents, friends; it might include coaches and mentors. Choose them carefully. They should all be people you trust and feel you can rely on, especially if the climb turns out to be tougher than you bargained for. If you’re looking for a coach, a mentor, I’m available to be interviewed for the position. Here’s my contact number if you need it: 07795-288490.

From The Coach Who Rocks (student testimonial)

Thanks for reading and God Bless you.

Barry Jackson.