"A career path is rarely a path at all. A more interesting life is usual a more crooked, winding path of missteps, luck and vigorous work. It is almost always a clumsy balance between the things you try to make happen and the things that happen to you." -Tom Freston

The time has come. You are nearing the last few months of your A-Level subjects and examinations at a UK-based secondary school and you have plans to attend a further education centre in the autumn to learn more about a specific field.

Since you received much information and guidance from counsellors and personal development tutors, you are quite sure about the career path you have chosen. Nevertheless, after studying your specific programme you will have to do something that you might have never done before. What may that be? Look for a job and start your career!

Though you most likely have moved to a larger city in the UK such as London, which unsurprisingly is home to the UK’s largest student population; however, since there is much competition, a stable job is not easily guaranteed.

In addition, we greatly recommend that before you enrol at a university, you are sure that you’re making the right choices about your education. Therefore, before you go to university or any other further education academy, you need to carefully think about what you're good at, what you thoroughly enjoy doing, and what kind of career you'd like to have once you're finished with schooling.

It is important to state that while going to university isn't essential for a good career, there is so much competition and so many economic hardships in today's world; therefore, possessing a university degree, vocational training certificate, or another form of documentation is greatly appreciated by all employers.

Many on the job force today may probably even be thinking about considering further education to bolster their CV, learn new skills, or get a trade that makes them more attractive and eligible for the world's best jobs. 

Nowadays, there are so many different careers available and it seems like new ones are springing up all the time. According to many researchers and career experts, some of the careers currently practised won't even exist in 50 years and there'll be a plethora of others created in the meantime. That could mean that your future career hasn't even been invented yet!

However, we don't suggest waiting for the future to happen as an excuse not to find a career that is suited for you, it is always best to be prepared and have some ideas. Nevertheless, working out what to do with your life isn't easy; especially during the teenage years when everything is falling apart. Also, it can be even more difficult to work out how to get into certain careers, what you need to study, or what you'd be good at considering your skills, strengths, and weaknesses.

Have no fear, if you are feeling lost, there are many entities dedicated to helping young ones and even older ones find a tailormade career. Such as? The National Careers Service is definitely worth checking out; it’s useful for not only for finding work but also for deciding what would be best to study.

Without further ado, in today's article, we shall identify some of the reasons why it is difficult to determine a career path and find a job later on. Also, most importantly, we shall be focusing on the National Careers Service and how it can be utilised to aid undergraduate and postgraduate students make the right choice.

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Reasons Students Struggle to Determine a Career Path

fighting to find a job
Students who have not done their research and have no experience may struggle to find a correct career path. (Source: pixabay)

The fact that your child or pupil has not correctly identified a career path yet does not demonstrate a failure on your part as a parent or teacher. Why is that? Adolescence is the most complicated and confusing period in one's life and it comes as no surprise that major decisions such as jobs or careers are difficult to make.

Teenagers are still trying to figure out who they are as a person; therefore, thinking about a career may be extremely tough and heavy. 

Nevertheless, the following causes are pinpointed by career counsellors as the reasons why some secondary school students struggle to identify a career path and they are 100% accurate. The following are some common causes that can be remedied:

  • Not Enough Research: the primary cause as to why you are indecisive is due to the fact that you have not researched enough of the potential careers available. For instance, you may not have conversed with professionals about their careers, visited job fairs, or looked for data online. Therefore, remember to research by talking with friends and family, take the time to meditate and examine if this job is for you and get some on the job training.
  • No Job Experience: though you have much homework and extracurricular activities as a secondary school student, getting an after-school or summer job is essential. Why? By having work experience, skills are honed, training is completed, and much thought is placed on the importance of finding a career that you will enjoy. Also, by acquiring job experience, internships become available, and these are the key to success.
  • Deciding Upon a Career Too Quickly: while it is quite precious when young ones state that they want to be a firefighter, teacher, doctor, or veterinarian when they grow up, they make these claim without understanding what each career is about. It is important to mention that by choosing a career too quickly, students prevent themselves from discovering all of the potential options available. By choosing too soon, there are higher chances that you change your mind in the future and have to redo the process to find a career path.

The previously mentioned reasons are only a few of the causes that explain why teenagers have a tough time choosing a career. Nevertheless, by identifying these problems from an early age, teachers, guidance counsellors, and most importantly, parents can prevent adolescents from being overwhelmed and discouraged when making a decision about their future.

But will there be any challenges after deciding upon a career? Read the following subheading to find out more!

Finding a Job: The Challenges

the challenges of finding a job
Since there is so much competition for jobs in the UK, it can be a challenge to find one; even with a university degree. (Source: pixabay)

After successfully completing the further education programme or vocational training course of your dreams, everything may seem like it will just fall into place; however, is that always the case? Unfortunately not. Even individuals with a college degree may face challenges in the job market.

Since the competition in certain fields of work is so fierce in today's world, finding a job may become a process that takes days, weeks, and sometimes even months. 

Nevertheless, there are solutions to overcoming the challenges and finding a job that best suits you. But, how? By identifying the problems and conquering them. Therefore, without further delay, the following list identifies the potential challenges of finding a job in your desired field in the UK, even with a university degree:

  • Too Many Applicants: while competition does help people in many ways, in the job force it can lead to much discouragement. For example, according to recent statistics, for one job opening, there are over 250 applicants and only 4-6 individuals are called for interviews; ouch! Therefore, to deal with the intense amount of applicants, individuals need to rise above the rest prove that they are better in every way possible.
  • Many Companies are Very Picky: since employment centres and establishments are not as loyal to their employees in the present day as they were before, they need an immediate return on their investment. Therefore, that means that they are unlikely to hire individuals who are new to the job force; they do not have the time or money to try someone out.
  • Outdated Resumes: employers simply do not have the time to read through hundreds and hundreds of printed-out resumes; therefore, they search for candidates online using applicant tracking systems. Therefore, this means that if you don't have your resume and cover letter online you most likely won't get the job of your dreams.

By remedying the previously mentioned issues, recent university graduates are more likely to rise above the rest and be eligible for a job that will genuinely enjoy.

Are there any other ways to make the job searching process easier? But, of course! The National Careers Service is a wonderful tool; read more to find out!

What Does the National Careers Service Do?

If you're not up to date on the latest services offered to the people, you've probably never heard of the National Careers Service. The National Careers Service was launched and established in 2012 to provide information, guidance, and advice to help struggling individuals make decisions on learning, training programmes, and work.

To provide further information, the following list describes the NCS' main goals on provide information in sectors such as:

  • Learning
  • Training
  • Career choice
  • Career development
  • Job search
  • Labour market
Where can you find help with career decisions?
If you need help working out what to do next, the National Careers Service could be helpful. (Source: Pexels)

It is important to state that the National Career Services is offered to people living in England with the mission of providing “high-quality information about careers and skills, and independent, professional advice and guidance." Also, “a focus on specialist careers guidance, built on the principles of independence and professional standards”, and “information, advice and guidance both to inform and to stimulate demand for further education, work-based training and higher education.”

Thanks to the National Careers Services' website, interested individuals can enter into webpages that will help in the following areas:

  • Exploring Careers: finding the next step on your career path is made easy by seeking the advice of professionals on the NCS webpage.
  • Skills Assessment: not sure about the skills you possess? The NCS has the goal of helping all types of people identify their abilities and find a career that will help them excel in all possible ways.
  • Finding Courses: not sure what to study at a post-secondary level? There are countless suggestions available to find a university programme or a vocational course that will suit your unique needs.
  • Help to Find a Job: learn more about how to acquire the job of your dreams by seeking the advice of the pros.

Put simply, the National Careers Service is a godsend that helps all types of individuals reach their goals and become better professionals in the future. 

Also, are you wondering what you can do with your degree? Find out more about Prospects.ac.uk.

The Services Offered by the National Careers Service

It is essential to state that career planning is quite difficult and, while there are plenty of career opportunities, no two career paths are the same. Nevertheless, there is good news! Fortunately for you, the National Careers Service offers many services that can help you start a new career, change your current career to a better suited one, or get more information on what you need to do to get an interview.

We shall now discuss some of the most essential services available from the National Careers Service.

CV or Resume Writing

Since your CV is often the first way you interact with potential employers, job seekers need to make sure that their CV is well written and suitable for the jobs they're interested in obtaining. Additionally, you'll also need to work on writing cover letters to potential employers to provide essential info about who you are.

It's important to state that you only get one first impression with employers and since job recruiters do not have time to read through hundreds of CVs the first couple of lines need to grab their attention and make a positive this impression of the person you are.

If your CV or cover letter doesn't impress a potential employer, you're never going to get called in for an interview and ultimately, you'll never get that dream job. 

Also, your experience and qualifications aren't the only important aspects that need to be featured in your CV. In many cases, you'll probably have a similar profile and qualifications to all the other candidates who are applying; therefore, your CV is a necessary way to make yourself stand out. Additionally, provide information that is relevant and needed for the job since the employer wants someone qualified and skilled.

Where can I find help for writing CVs?
Writing your CV can be tricky. Check out some of the advice on the National Careers Service. (Source: Free-Photos)

Understanding the Job Market

After graduation, you'll probably be looking for employment opportunities that suit the skills and knowledge honed during your years of studying. However, there is no need to fret since the job market information on the National Careers Service is great for anyone trying to get into the wonderful yet complex world of work.

When you actively search, you'll find that there are a lot of jobs around and you may have the skills for a job you didn't even know about.

Also, for those who just can't take their current career anymore, there are various opportunities to change careers and move into something more rewarding.

Searching and Applying for Jobs

Job hunting is a bit of a minefield and looking for a job can be a nightmare. Fortunately, you can get online job information from the National Careers Service and there's also plenty of information on searching and applying to jobs that suit your needs.

It's useful to know what employers are looking for and, while your CV can impress from the beginning, a lot of employers also use specific application processes to ensure they find exactly what they're looking for in an employee. Try using the internet to post your resume and cover letter to open up the search to a wider audience.

Not sure what kind of job you want? Consider doing an academic appraisal.

Interview Techniques

If you've got a great CV and cover letter, a recruiter will probably be very interested in meeting with you in person. In this case, they'll call you in for an interview; how nervewracking!

Nevertheless, if you've got an interview, it means that the recruiter is interested in working with you so just make sure you leave the interview having made a good impression. 

If you want to find a job and impress others, you need to carefully think about how you present yourself to potential employers. Once you've mastered the interview techniques outlines by the National Careers Service, you can practise them by doing mock interviews with a professional career coach. 

How do you perform well in an interview?
If you need to ace that next interview, make sure you do your research first. (Source: styles66)

Searching for Courses

No career path is a straight line and you may need to consider further training to hone skills. Your career choices aren't set in stone and the career service offered by the National Career Services has ways to find courses and training events that can help you improve in your current line of work or get the necessary skills for a new career that you want to work in.

Exploring Career Options

If you plan to explore career options, you'll need to get advice from someone who knows what they're talking about. Luckily, the National Careers Service is there to help you find jobs, apply for jobs, and then ultimately get a job!

What can I do for a career?
You can always explore various career options before making a final decision. (Source: Free-Photos)

No matter what your career goals are, the process of career exploration should help you find job opportunities and make choosing a career far more simple than you ever imagined.

Thinking about applying to university? Find out more about UCAS.

Where Can You Find the National Careers Service?

There are several ways to access the National Careers Service. Such as? There are both digital and physical ways to access the National Careers Service. For those looking for career guidance, the National Careers Service is one of the best career resources in England that you can visit online or in-person by contacting individuals.

Also, attending career fairs and job fairs is a fantastic way to find a job. 

Finding a Career Counsellor on Superprof

Nonetheless, if you're still wondering, “What can I do?” and need help choosing a career and finding a job, we greatly suggest that you get in touch with a private career tutor who can help you look at the following aspects:

  • Further education learning options,
  • Improving your interviewing skills,
  • Providing you with state of the art career counselling.

Make an appointment with a private career coach today and get some career advice; you'll soon have that dream job!

On Superprof, you can find life coaches, career tutors, and personal development tutors that will greatly help. It is important to state that there are generally three types of tutorial sessions available: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each type of tutorial comes with its pros and cons and you'll need to think about your budget and your goals when choosing which one to select. The following description explains each tutoring session in detail:

  • Face-to-face tutorials: these are lessons that are just between you and your tutor. As the only student in the class, you'll benefit from tailored sessions and your tutor's undivided attention. While these are often the most costly type of private tutorial, they're also the most cost-effective thanks to how much time your tutor can spend focusing on you and your unique goals.
  • Online tutorials: similar to face-to-face tutorials in terms of the tutor-student ratio; nonetheless, the tutor won't be in the room with you. How is it possible then? Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can now get private tutoring via webcam using video conferencing software such as Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime. While not ideal for hands-on subjects or students, online tutorials are great since they're often cheaper than the face-to-face tutorials considering the fact that the tutor doesn't need to factor travel costs into their rates.
  • Group tutorials: as you may have guessed, group tutoring sessions are when you're taught alongside other students in a group. With several students paying, these tutorials often work out cheaper per student per hour. While cheaper, it does mean you won't get as much attention from your tutor as they'll need to focus on several students at once.

When selecting a personal development or academic tutor, we greatly recommend that you think carefully about your goals, budget, and learning style before deciding what type of tutorials are right for you. In conclusion, thanks to helpful advice and the National Careers Service, individuals fresh out of university can make wise decisions for their future!

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Daniel

A student by trade, Daniel spends most of his time working on that essay that's due in a couple of days' time. When he's not working, he can be found working on his salsa steps, or in bed.