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Anyone who has been through the British education system will testify that exams are tough. As if the stress of the actual exams themselves followed by the agonising wait for the results to arrive in isn’t enough, there is also the uncertainty about what lies ahead in terms of landing your dream career.
Let’s face it, life is full of curve balls. There are many successful individuals who - despite having chosen to pursue a different professional path then originally planned, and through using unconventional means to do so - have reached the point where they are fulfiled in their careers.
We catch up with two of our exceptional recruitment specialists here at Search Consultancy who show us why there is no wrong path to finding the right career.
Experience has taught me that life has a funny way of surprising us. I can certainly say that I never expected to pursue a career in recruitment when I was in school. After missing one of my A-Level grades to secure a spot at Warwick – my first university of choice, I applied to Keele – my second choice – through clearing for a deferred entry for one year. Essentially, clearing is a way of matching universities without students to students without a university place.
Throughout my gap year, I worked in retail and saved as much money as I could to put myself through university. Following that, I pursued and achieved my Bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy. But life, as I continued to discover, threw another curveball my way.
Throughout my time in university, I met someone who brought me round to the idea of pursuing a career in recruitment. I have not looked back since.
My advice to those who may be feeling disappointed by their exam results would be to consider all options, whether it’s retaking your exams to get the grades you want or opening your mind to try something new. Gaining work experience is also essential, as many employers will be keeping an eye out for that further down the line in your career.
After finishing my exams, I was accepted into Edge Hill University where I planned to pursue a degree in English Lit and Creative Writing. At this point, I still had no idea what I wanted to pursue as a career, so I just picked a subject I knew I would enjoy and that I was good at.
Due to personal circumstances, I was unable to continue at university, which lead me to the decision to work instead. At this point I was only 18 and I still had no idea what I wanted to do, and this resulted in me dipping into and gaining experience in a range of sectors.
After starting off in retail, which I quickly realised wasn’t for me, I went into brokered admin for a year, after which I went on to work in customer service, which I loved! After just ten months in the company, I worked my way up and became Assistant Team Leader when I was only 20, which then developed into a team leader role. I then took my skills and went into tools and construction, after which I went into facilities management six months down the line.
I then went on to become a Health Advisor – a role which sparked my interest from my days at school. Although I really enjoyed the experience and developed a wide range of skills, it just wasn’t for me in the end. I briefly dipped back into Facilities Management, but at this point I was really keen to get into recruitment due to my passion for helping others.
I’m pleased to say that I am now in a position where I love my current role and I can see myself pursuing it in the long term. My advice would be to try out different roles and see what makes you happy as you’ll never know until you start the job and give it a chance. I now have a lot of experience behind me at 24 – all of which I gained from being driven and working hard, and not from a university degree or school grades.
Have you just finished your exams, but don’t quite fancy the idea of pursuing higher learning for an additional three years? Are you uncertain about what your professional path should or could be? Contact us today to find out how we can help you find your career path, or have a look at our jobs and apply today!