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Career Teacher Faux Pas:

3 Things They Didn't Tell You

Read Time : 3 minutes


‘Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance’ (CEIAG) now plays an integral part in the school curriculum and provides the learner with the skills and knowledge to enable them to deal with the choices and transitions related to their further education, training, employment, and life as an adult member of society.

The significant development of CEIAG practices in recent years and the emphasis placed upon it highlights two key points:


CEIAG is hugely important.

- CEIAG practices were largely inadequate before these developments.

For those aged 30 and above, ‘Careers Advice’ consisted of an hour long group lecture, usually facilitated by the Business Studies teacher who espoused the key to a great career.

The information usually included picking an established profession matched to your ‘ability level’, getting qualified and working hard.

For the clients I have helped transition into other careers, these are the critical points their Careers Teacher failed to mention.

Your sector matters more than your personal ability

The sector you choose to work in will have an overwhelming influence on your outcomes so choose your personal definition of success carefully.

If having a profound impact on your community is a must, a career in the education or the care sector will likely create a life of meaning and fulfilment.

On the other hand, if extreme wealth or financial freedom is the goal, you must seek out an in-demand, high paying skill or a business model that is attractive to the market and scalable.

Why then is the sector more important than personal ability?

Although some outliers do exist, it is likely that a 10/10 teacher will be considerably out earned by a 5/10 programmer and that the 5/10 teacher will have more social impact than a 10/10 programmer.

For the most part, your sector sets the boundaries of what you can expect to achieve, with your personal competence limiting how far you can progress within your domain’s hierarchy.

Don’t follow your passion

The broke artist is only in vogue in the movies. Living a life on the bread line, following your passion, seems cool until you’re struggling to pay rent, to provide for your family and to meet your responsibilities.

‘Follow your passion’ is too simplistic and fails to consider the intricacies and complexities of modern life.

In an ideal world you want to find your own personal Ikigai or ‘reason to live’. This involves finding a job that you love, are great at, that the world wants and most importantly that you are paid fairly for.

Without being compensated for your Ikigal, your pursuit has a finite lifespan and before you know it you are back in the rat race - fair payment not only ensures that you can continue your work but also that you can develop and improve your service.

It’s okay not to have it all figured out

With Twitter posts advocating 5-year personal plans and Instagram showing the ‘perfect life’, it is easy to assume that everyone else has their life in order.

In the years I have spent working with people, athletes, and business professionals, I have yet to meet anyone who has had it all figured out. What they did have was a plan for general upward trajectory that they shaped and moulded at each stage of the process.


Taking considered side steps (or back steps at times), pivoting, and embracing change to pursue new interests, sectors and opportunities is a sign of someone welcoming life’s journey.

With the Institute for The Future (IFTF), in a report published by Dell Technologies, stating that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have yet to be invented, mixed with the fleeting focus and interests of humans, it is not only okay to not have it figured out but normal!

The only thing that is important on the journey is that you ‘Keep Aiming Upwards’ - whatever that means to you!

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